Running a business in the digital age requires the use of a wide range of technologies – hardware, software, cloud infrastructure, and cyber security including Software Integrations. And since nothing actually works in silos, it’s vital that each of these components work together smoothly. Imagine if your email wasn’t connected to your calendar or project management system.
This is key to maximizing efficiency by 85% and reducing the risk of errors. Fortunately, software integrations make this a reality. But what exactly are they? How can they affect your business? And how do you know which type would suit you best?
What are software integrations?
Software integration means synchronizing different types of software so that your entire team can do their work efficiently. It is what allows you to collect all the data, instead of having individual pieces of information isolated from others. Or if it was not possible to allow access to your cloud infrastructure to people outside your organization – such as business partners and clients.
While this seems like common sense, it’s actually a common challenge that many businesses face; especially as they grow and their applications continue to expand: customer relationship management (CRM), content management system (CMS), inventory management software, etc.
Fortunately, software companies are actively addressing this problem. And businesses that don’t stay on top of this trend will undoubtedly see adverse consequences.
5 reasons why software integrations is a very important tool for the functioning of your business
Software integration should always be non-negotiable. When your tools are able to work together, your entire team—and your bottom line—benefits:
1) Improved efficiency:
Think of all the job roles that overlap: sales and marketing, legal and compliance, finance and payroll. If everyone had to enter information manually and pass that data to other departments through other forms of communication, your traffic would slow down significantly.
Time would be lost. Items would fall through the cracks. Fortunately, with systems integration, your business data is shared across all your tools.
2) Improved cost efficiency:
Finding and exporting information can be time-consuming – time that could be better spent running the business, nurturing leads and closing sales.
3) Increased productivity:
When all applications communicate with each other, you eliminate the delays caused by having to manually share information between departments. This type of information flow allows everyone in your company to access files and know the status of projects in seconds.
4) Reduced risk of errors:
Not having to rely on people to input information coming from elsewhere means less chance of errors, incomplete information or duplicated work. This ensures reliability and better performance.
5) Better customer service:
Integrations improve customer service in several ways: When a client calls, no matter who they’re talking to, a member of your team will have all the relevant information—whether it’s sales, marketing, or support.
Types of software integrations
There are several types of software integrations. Which one would be most ideal for your business depends on your circumstances – such as the size of your team, the number of applications, and the need for each department to work together. Specifically, you can search for any of the following:
a) Stellar integration:
Star integrations (also known as spaghetti integrations) refer to cross-departmental linking of all their applications. This method provides high functionality, but the higher the number of connected applications, the more complex it can be to manage.
b) Horizontal integration:
Horizontal integration means having one main, central system that interfaces with all other applications—but the other applications are not interconnected. The central system is known as the Enterprise Service Bus (ESB).
c) Vertical integration:
Vertical integration connects applications based on how closely they relate to their work functions. This can be an effective way to avoid confusion and unnecessary connections. However, each interconnected section works in silos; so you may need to communicate manually if necessary.
So if all your systems require different semantics to understand the data, you’ll need an adapter to convert them every time they communicate with a different application. This can be solved by the common integration of data formats. Coding Brains consolidating data from multiple sources and keeping it all stored in one place can be a big help in this operation. Please contact us for more information on software integration.