Companies usually work with many different software applications, and each database that belongs to them has to be properly managed and organized. That is certainly a tough and time-consuming task, especially if your company operates with a great amount of data. The more information to manage, the greater the risk of making a mistake. Additionally, taking into account that there are a few different types of applications to be handled (like packaged apps, local apps, SaaS, cloud-based apps created by your clients, etc.), keeping them all under control becomes really hard and requires a lot of resources and administrators. That’s why software application integration is needed.
What is software application integration?
Application integration is the process of supporting cooperation between independently working systems or applications. It helps to deliver resources and possibilities of one application to another.
Of course, managing the applications separately is possible but by skipping the process of integration, you give up your chance for greater comfort, time savings, and a certain level of flexibility that it gives.
Thanks to the integration connectors, the data are converted into a format corresponding to the company’s currently existing IT architecture. The data are introduced then just once and you aren’t obligated to check wether the applications are able to communicate with each other.
One of the best ways to integrate applications is through APIs – this is a type of software interface that acts as an intermediary for two applications, allowing them to communicate with each other.
Benefits of software application integration:
- Data accessibility
After implementing the process of application integration, all data becomes available and visible to all users in the organization. This means that organizations are able to measure and analyze these data in an easy way throughout their business activities. As a result, individual employees don’t waste valuable time on tedious, manual tasks, and can instead focus on more important issues, developing innovations or optimizing existing processes. This brings us to another benefit of app integration which is:
- Increased productivity
As many tasks that previously had to be done manually and repetitively by employees are eliminated, they can focus on other issues and their productivity is increased. The integration improves the workflow – thanks to that, many processes can be automated. For example, data from a CRM platform can be integrated with your e-mail box, so that you can send targeted e-mails to your customer groups, based on your own specific filters. The results of such a campaign can be then integrated with some other analytics tool. Additionally, all that can be connected to the ERP system and make these processes even more efficient and favorable for the company.
Applications integration allows organizations for quicker recognition of opportunities that appear on the market. By automating some operations, the company’s response to any changes can be quicker – regardless of whether it’s about some management issues, disruptions in the supply chain, or organizing the automation of invoice processing. The fast time of reaction to changes gives your company a huge advantage over the competitors.
- Better internal communication
All employees inside the organization have access to real-time data, what minimizes the time needed to exchange data between coworkers. This facilitation influences more efficient and fluent internal communication and prevents possible misunderstandings caused by outdated information or the lack of access to the same data by different employees.
- Elimination of Data Silos
Applications created by different vendors are unable to communicate with each other, that’s why data from them are locked in silos, which slow down business operations and hinder effective data sharing. Additionally, creating queries for them becomes very difficult or even impossible. Integration middleware helps in solving that issue because it acts as a link between different applications, no matter if they are on-premises or cloud. Thanks to this, applications from different vendors can communicate with each other and exchange data.
- Increased ROI
As the application integration speeds up many internal operations and processes, the time-to-market is shortened in the long run, as opposed to the profitability, which increases at the same time. That additional amount of time that is saved, companies can use to generate more of their products or services and make more income.
How can different industries benefit from application integration?
Finance – financial institutions can use application integration in order to attract new clients, providing loan services at the same time, mobile apps, and more.
Healthcare – healthcare institutions can benefit from that process by enabling their suppliers quick access to medical documentation or insurance information from anywhere in the facility.
Retail and e-commerce – thanks to the application integration in this industry, companies have an access to real-time data about product availability, payments, or customer service.
Telecommunication – because of the high complexity and variety of data in that segment, application and data integration is essential. Telecommunication companies uses that process to provide their clients with a hassle-free service on their mobile phones, laptops, and more.
Do you want to find out more about software application integration?
Don’t forget to secure your data first
As you can see, software application integration is an important thing to do and brings companies many profits by reducing the time of operations, making internal and external communication easier, or even increasing sales potential. However, one of the main challenges that you will face when deciding on implementing this process is data security. Make sure that your digital transformation partner will take care of that aspect.