Business Impacts of Proper Software Integration
The Emergence of Software Integration Needs
Here’s a question for you: how many software applications does the average successful organization use to carry out day-to-day operations? The answer is 37.* (We bet these organizations can’t name them all!) The problem is, all that software could be doing those companies more harm than good.
When an organization has too much software, life suddenly gets difficult. Administrators have to set up and maintain each program. Managers have to teach their teams how to use each platform. That takes time from what they do best: running their business. Using lots of software solutions can be really expensive, too.
The software landscape is getting bigger and bigger — revenue in the software market will increase by 7.12 percent from 2022-2026 — which means software developers are launching new products all the time and using more advanced technologies to support those new products. That includes system software, application software, service-orientated architecture, API management, Platform as a Service solutions, and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS solutions).
Don’t get us wrong: innovative, ground-breaking software is always great for everyone. However, we’ve noticed more and more companies are struggling with multiple complex systems as they grow their businesses.
What’s the solution to these issues?
What is Software Integration?
Software integration means combining different software applications or sub-systems to create a unified single system. So instead of managing 37 different programs, an organization just manages one.
But there’s much more to software integration solutions than that.
When someone ‘merges’ or ‘combines’ two or more disparate systems, they can solve the problem of isolated data. That’s data that exists in different systems (especially legacy systems) that can’t communicate with each other, which is a huge problem for any data-driven business today.
When data exists in silos, it’s difficult to compare that data and generate insights from it. Say an organization has data in a customer relationship management (CRM) system and data in a relational database. Now say that organization wants to compare the data in the CRM with the data in the relational database. They probably can’t because that data is in two different locations.
There are various ways companies can integrate data from different systems — data pipelines, data integrations, ETL, ELT, etc. There are also various destinations for integrated data — data lakes, data warehouses, a data management system, etc.
Another benefit of software integration tools is that they allow software parts and sub-systems to act as a ‘whole.’ By combining data into one centralized location, a company gets a single source of truth for that data — a singular reference point for all the data that comes in and out of their organization.
Software integration may be time-consuming and challenging, especially if an organization has not prioritized data maintenance across their systems. However, proper software integration can ultimately help your organization receive more value from your tech stack and software investments. Time savings, rich insights, accurate forecasting, and analysis that aids in decision-making can be unlocked when your data sources speak to each other.
Did you know? KMS Technology’s software integration solutions maximize value, prevent data loss during integration, and reduce risk and potential liabilities. Learn more.
Different Software Integration Methods
There’s not just one software integration method. Let us explain the three most important ones:
This is the process of connecting separate computer systems and software programs into one larger system. You combine all the physical components of your computer systems such as the hardware and inventory, as well as the virtual components such as databases and applications.
Application Programming Interface
Application Programming Interface (or API) is a software integration method that connects two or more software applications so those applications can exchange data in real time. That means you can sync data from one application to another. However, you don’t connect any physical components of systems like system integration.
Webhooks have more in common with APIs and web services than system integration services. They allow you to share data from one application to another over the internet via HTTP so all integration happens online. The format for a webhook is usually JSON or XML.
What Happens If a Company Doesn’t Integrate Software?
Numerous pain points can arise without proper software integration.
Multiple Data Entries in Systems
Problems can happen when one program doesn’t share data with another program. Each record might contain similar information but also include non-matching or incomplete data. For example, a customer’s most recent address might be in one platform but not the other. There’s also the issue of various formats. Name vs First Name / Last Name for example.
Slow Data or Functionality Flow
This happens when one program uses a different server than another program. If one server malfunctions, users might be able to access data from one platform but not the other, making it difficult to complete business processes.
Teams that use multiple software programs are more likely to make errors. For example, a team member might input data into a customer record in the wrong system. More places to input data means it’s more likely for a mistake to occur (misspellings, lack of data standardization, etc.)
It takes a lot of time to maintain data and functionality inside multiple systems. Say an organization has a CRM system, a marketing automation system, and a sales system. If a customer changes their phone number, someone has to update three systems instead of one. Some organizations require employees to enter the same data into multiple systems, which can reduce productivity and lead to duplicated data.
Organizations that use multiple systems have to train teams on how to use each platform individually, taking up lots of resources.
What Problems Does Software Integration Solve?
Typically, businesses want to be multi-functional. They need to carry out tasks in the quickest possible timeframe without wasting resources. That’s why software integration solutions are so valuable. It allows software users to combine their products into one seamless solution and standardize operations.
With software integration services, data management suddenly becomes easier because data exists in one central location. There’s no need to check, maintain, or update several systems. This results in greater efficiency and stronger performance within an organization.
An integrated software platform can also optimize customer experiences. Take customer service reps, for example. How much easier is it for them to access one system when answering a query from a customer?
Did you know? KMS Technology’s integration consultants can deliver enterprise-grade software integration solutions that provide incredible value for money. Learn more.
What Impact Does Software Integration Have on Businesses?
The most important benefit of software integration is its simplicity. Merging applications into a single destination removes the requirement to use several programs when completing a simple task. Software integration can also result in more accurate data. You can reduce human error, duplicated data, and conflicting data values and have a single point of reference of data.
Many of the businesses we’ve worked with have benefited greatly from software integration services. Almost instantly, they save time (and can delegate labor resources elsewhere) because team members aren’t constantly trying to access two, three, or even more systems simultaneously when carrying out their work.
In acquisition, merger, or partnership scenarios, KMS Technology helps you draw back the curtain and make fully-informed decisions on your integration opportunities. You can expect:
- Efficient integration
- Maximized value
- Secure migration and data protection
- Reduced risk and liability
Software Integration Services
As companies struggle with more and more software applications, application integration can provide a solution. When an organization integrates software into a single system, it can connect various data sources and create an all-in-one platform that benefits its entire organization. It’s nothing for decision-makers or software companies to fear.
Want to learn more about the benefits of system integration? Schedule a consultation with KMS Technology.