Connections count a lot in today’s business environment, and this holds when considering the applications you use as well. Most businesses start out with a few handy essentials and steadily expand their arsenal as they grow in size, scope, and operations. This addition of applications brings about added complexity, and even catastrophe if the individual components don’t play nice with each other.
Now you might find enticing the idea of implementing for a universal solution that can handle all the various aspects of your business. However, we’d advise caution. Your business needs and requirements are unique, and therefore, a one-size-fits-all approach is likely to end in disappointing failure.
So how do you cope with the rising costs and complexities of incorporating more and more applications into your life at work?
The Answer: Systems Integration!
Let’s take a close look at what it means for your business and what benefits you can reap by implementing it.
What is Systems Integration?
Generally, systems integration refers to the process of bringing together different component systems into one whole. In terms of business software, it means linking up various systems and applications that a business relies on to function.
Depending on your organization, items on your system integration checklist may include CRMs (like Salesforce) and ERPs (i.e., SAP or NetSuite), Databases, Warehouse Management and Content Management Systems, and more.
Integration allows you to use these ‘subsystems’ to their full potential while adding value to your business by uncovering possibilities that stem from interoperability between them. Let’s take a look at them now.
The Top 6 Benefits of Integrating Business Systems
1. Ramps Up Process Efficiency
Depending on your organization and the nature of your business, you may rely on a number of systems for managing customers, inventory, invoices…the list goes on. Now, even if you’ve employed the best solutions for each of these tasks, you stand to miss out on a lot if all your vital data is siloed. You probably already knew that, but you should also know that transferring data from one system to another manually is a time-consuming and labor-intensive process.
Systems integration provides you a centralized solution, where all your disparate solutions can communicate in harmony, and data movement and transformation are automated. This not only eliminates any processing delays but also helps you and your team concentrate on innovation and value-addition, instead of manual data entry.
2. Improves Data Accuracy
We’re not entirely through bashing manual data entry just yet. Needless to say, copying and pasting data can be an insanely mundane and boring process. We wouldn’t blame you if you have trouble focusing on doing the same thing over and over again, but this is likely to introduce errors and, consequently, losses. According to the Samanage State of Workplace Survey, US businesses are wasting about $1.8 trillion annually on repetitive employee tasks.
Automating data transfer between systems through integration, not only helps mitigate any errors that may occur during transfer but can also highlight any inconsistencies or conflicts between source and destination datasets.
3. Enhances Visibility Through Real-time Data and Reporting
In an integrated system, your organizational data is exchanged in real-time, ensuring all the information you need is at your fingertips, and your intel is in line with the most recent developments so you can perform a more meaningful analysis.
Reports that leverage data from multiple sources can be rolled out faster, providing managers a holistic view of the organization and allowing them to make informed decisions and respond to threats and opportunities more swiftly.
4. Improves Employee Collaboration and Performance
The benefits of having access to real-time, 360-degree data don’t stop at the top. It also helps streamline collaboration between employees and departments and gives everyone a better idea of what tasks require their attention and which ones are already being handled.
Additionally, having a centralized interface also empowers employees to be more responsive and get more done in fewer clicks.
5. Drives Customer Satisfaction and Sales
Having relevant data in one place can help staff ensure that nothing of essence slip through the crack as well as uncover insights that they would otherwise be oblivious to.
As an example, integrating your online store with your CRM can help your employees better understand customer expectations based on past interactions. As a result, they’ll be able to address customer grievances and engage them proactively, in a more informed manner. Moreover, they would be able to target customers precisely, identify up-selling/cross-selling opportunities accurately, and thus, drive conversions.
6. Makes It Easier to Ensure Data Security and Integrity
Most businesses handle sensitive customer data and are required by law to take actionable steps to ensure its integrity. Having data spread across different platforms and tools makes this challenge significantly more complicated than it needs to be.
With a single centralized system in place, all your data comes from the same location, and you’re able to enforce security measures in a more manageable and reliable way.
Systems Integration lets you use best-of-breed solutions that you’re most comfortable with while reaping the additional benefits that result from their union. You’re able to streamline processes, collaborate effectively, and gain better insights, in addition to driving performance and results in different areas of your business.
Intagleo Systems has over 15 years of experience, developing and adding value to a wide variety of business software solutions for clients around the globe. Contact us today if you need assistance with your business system integration strategy and to learn more about our services.