In our increasingly connected work environment, it has become a necessity for businesses to be able to share data between systems and applications. Whether your business is upgrading from legacy technologies or adding a tertiary application on top of your current infrastructure, it’s vital for software integration to be done correctly. This helps avoid major issues like loss of data, functionality and downtime.
What is software integration?
Software integration entails joining one or more software systems into a larger system. This new, larger system works better than the sum of the original parts. More importantly for a business, the new integrated system allows for more functionality and capacity. The data on the original system parts flow seamlessly in the new integrated system.
Software integrations can take several forms; this can include horizontal, vertical and more types of integrations depending on the objective. For example, companies that merge or are acquired by other companies often have some systems merged for greater functionality. Integrations can strengthen software infrastructure, increase the impact of current applications and add additional features.
When is software integration needed for your business?
Software integration is needed for several instances in your business.
Merging existing systems: when merging two existing systems, software integration is required. Merging two systems can be needed for many business needs, but ensuring software integration is essential for the new system to even function properly; this prevents future bugs, overlaps and any other issues.
Extending functionality: software integration is needed for adding functionality to existing applications and programs in your business. For example, if your business starts hiring contractors, you need to add functionalities in your HR system like W-2 forms, payroll and any other tax document needs. For this to occur, your HR system will need software integration to include contract work into your payroll.
Upgrading applications/programs: all businesses generally upgrade periodically to keep up with competition and to innovate to meet market needs. This can be very difficult if a good portion of your business’ data is on old systems. To upgrade seamlessly from your legacy products and applications, software integration is needed. This enables you to keep customer and business data while enjoying the benefits of your new program.
What can happen if you don’t integrate properly?
Failing to integrate software properly can have several negative effects. The first is loss of data; this can include business and customer data, which can have their own ramifications like loss of business and other legal issues. This is why it’s important to choose a software integration provider that is experienced. System downtime is also another huge disaster that can follow incorrect software integration. This can result in loss of business, productivity and data.
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