Why Is Enterprise Application Integration Necessary for Your Business

The Importance of System Integration for Connected Business Operations
From unifying siloed applications to connecting data across systems, enterprise application integrations can benefit you in more ways than one. Explore why it is essential for your business.

Digital transformation is an ongoing business process. And necessary for your business survival.

The onset of digitalisation in the second half of the 20th century brought with it a wide array of ERP systems, applications, and tools for every imaginable business process. This helped companies reduce manual work, streamline project management, and improve operational efficiency multifold.

However, as more and more organisations started adopting digital solutions, they found themselves in a conundrum.

  • How do they manage their vast and seemingly disconnected network of applications?
  • How do they make sense of their ever-growing data?
  • How many additional resources should they invest in to manage their application portfolio?
  • How do they ensure that data is not lost or duplicated across systems?

Enterprise application integration is the answer here. By connecting disparate systems, ERPs, on-premise or cloud infrastructure, and processes, a systems integration empowers companies to steer clear of technology-induced nightmares and gain a Single Source of Truth (SSOT).

Before we delve into the benefits of application integration for connected business operations, let’s look at what business integration is and why is it important.

What is application integration?

Business integration or enterprise application integration can be defined as the synchronisation of the different aspects of an organisation—such as its systems, processes, technologies, and people. The goal is to enable disparate applications to talk seamlessly with each other, without causing a misalignment among different business functions.

A system integration is the primary component of an ERP implementation. In fact, the real benefit of upgrading from any legacy ERP system (such as Microsoft NAV or Sage) to a cloud-based, modern ERP (such as NetSuite, SAP, Dynamics 365, or Oracle) is the centralisation and control it offers you, resulting in a well-connected business landscape.

A B2B integration is usually achieved by means of an application integration solution provided by a custom solutions provider. An experienced integration services provider can not only help you integrate your business application network into a unified platform but can also ensure that data changes across systems get updated and reflected in real time. They also offer you consulting and support services to manage your application integration and ERP implementation project end-to-end.

Looking for custom development services for your mission-critical business integration and ERP implementation project? Discover how Corptec’s team of experts can help you integrate and streamline your application landscape with ease!

Why is application integration important?

To answer this, let’s look at what happens when your systems are not integrated.

1. In the absence of an integrated enterprise, you face data silos

One of the most significant challenges businesses face when adopting a variety of software is siloed information. Departments often operate in isolation, using different tools and systems that don’t communicate effectively with each other. Such data fragmentation can lead to operational inefficiencies, data entry errors, and missed business opportunities. A business integration breaks down these silos by facilitating the seamless exchange of data and enabling cross-departmental collaboration.

For example, integrating your CRM software with your accounting platform allows sales and finance teams to align their efforts effortlessly. This leads to streamlined sales and accounting processes that result in accurate lead qualification and faster invoice processing.

Would you like to learn how Corptec helped a leading equipment rental firm integrate its sales and accounting operations efficiently with a customised integration between Salesforce Sales Cloud and MYOB AccountRight Premier? Read the case study here: Case Study | Corptec

2. Lack of application integration can lead to data loss and poor data quality

Enterprise application integrations play a crucial role in enhancing data accuracy, ensuring data consistency, and preventing data loss. Manual data entry is often prone to errors and can result in discrepancies between systems. Maintaining data in separate, disconnected applications can increase the chances of data duplication—which may also lead to data not getting updated simultaneously across departments. By keeping critical information in silos, businesses risk losing their precious data whenever an application crashes (due to a malicious attack or a power outage) or when an employee leaves the company.

Automating data transfer between different applications via integrations helps reduce the risk of human error and ensures that all systems have access to up-to-date and accurate information.

Moreover, business integrations enable real-time synchronisation of data, eliminating the need for manual updates and ensuring that everyone in the organisation is working with the most current information. This not only improves decision-making but also enhances customer experience by providing them with accurate, reliable, and consistent information at every touchpoint.

3. Siloed systems lead to inefficient or redundant processes

In the absence of a centralised data repository, most teams would be burdened with data entry that gets repeated across departments. This would make it difficult to decide which version of data is accurate, reliable, or updated. Even if there is data that needs to be shared with vendors or trading partners, sharing them in real time becomes a challenge.

An enterprise application integration can help streamline business processes by automating repetitive tasks and eliminating unnecessary manual intervention. For instance, integrating your e-commerce platform with your warehouse and inventory management system can help you automate order fulfilment processes, reducing the time and effort required to manage inventory and complete customer orders.

Similarly, integrating your project management software with time-tracking tools allows project managers to monitor the progress of tasks and allocate resources more efficiently. This not only increases employee productivity but also ensures that projects are completed on time and within budget.

4. Lack of integration results in poor business growth

As businesses grow and evolve, their requirements change, and they need systems that can scale and adapt to their evolving needs. Having disparate software can make it hard for you to tell how your business is performing. Your technical team may be incapable of managing so many systems and may even lack the know-how and skills needed to work with each and every application. This inevitably leads to a disconnect when communicating with end customers, leading to a loss of customer trust.

Integrating applications provides you with the flexibility to add new functionalities and connect additional systems as needed, without disrupting existing workflows. If you own an e-commerce business, for example, you could start with a basic integration between your website, inventory management, and accounting systems. As your business expands, you can then consider integrating additional tools for marketing automation, customer support, and data analytics to support your growing operations.

Now that we have somewhat established the importance of integrating your application landscape, let’s look at the top 5 benefits that a systems integration can bring to your business.

5 key benefits of integrating your business ecosystem

When dealing with data silos, disconnected applications, and disgruntled team members, integrating your business applications and processes can make all the difference.  

Here we look at the top 5 benefits of connecting your applications under a single, accessible system.

1. Enhanced Connectivity

The single biggest advantage of a systems integration is the improved connectivity between your spread-out applications. When there are myriad systems being used by different teams, it becomes difficult to consolidate huge volumes of data and organise information in a meaningful way. Not only does this hamper day-to-day operations but it also impacts business analytics.

By executing a business integration, business leaders and team members alike can now access data under one roof. The connectivity thus gained would enable everyone to work in alignment as one team, without having to constantly switch between different systems, or rely only on a handful of applications to view trustworthy data. Moreover, by centralising data management and enforcing consistent processes and controls across the organisation, a well-connected business is better equipped to stay compliant with industry standards and regulatory requirements.

2. Improved Data Flow

Integrating various systems and processes enables businesses to store data in a centralised repository, from where it becomes easy to view, create, update, secure, or distribute data as needed. Data flow through the organisation now becomes seamless, thus eliminating redundant tasks (such as having to fill in information every time in a different application). This mitigates the challenge of duplicate data piling up, and also reduces manual efforts in entering and updating data, thus eliminating data errors.

Moreover, a B2B integration guards your business against potential data loss due to human error, system downtime, or employee attrition, and reduces the need for employees to train themselves on various applications, just to access or update data.

3. Increased Process Efficiency

As mentioned earlier, enterprise application integration benefits companies in more ways than one. It allows you to optimise resource utilisation and streamline workflows, leading to increased operational efficiency. It helps save costs and reduce IT overhead by eliminating the need for multiple standalone systems. It encourages collaboration among teams by breaking down information and process silos and by facilitating seamless communication across departments and locations.

A business integration also enables the automation of process workflows, improving team productivity and giving employees more time to focus on strategic initiatives and value-added activities.

4. Improved Data Analytics

While integrating disparate systems minimises data entry errors and ensures the accuracy and consistency of information across the organisation, it also allows for better data extraction, preparation, and analysis, leading to improved business intelligence. A B2B integration provides you with a unified view of data, enabling advanced analytics and reporting capabilities that drive actionable insights. With real-time access to integrated data from across different departments, business leaders can now make informed decisions more quickly, giving themselves a competitive edge in the market.

Moreover, a business integration can help companies optimise their supply chain processes. A systems integration across supply chain partners enables real-time visibility into inventory levels, production schedules, and shipment tracking, leading to streamlined supply chain operations and reduced lead times.

5. Enhanced Customer Experience

Integrated systems enable a holistic view of customer interactions, allowing businesses to deliver a personalised and seamless experience to customers across all touchpoints. It facilitates smoother customer onboarding by automating data collection, verification, and provisioning. Since integrated systems are inherently scalable, it allows companies to easily adapt to changing market conditions and customer preferences, and expand into new markets without significant disruptions.

In the area of supply chain management, the integration of inventory systems with other business processes such as sales and procurement enables better inventory visibility and allows wholesalers and retailers to optimise their stock levels and update inventory items in real time, leading to faster sales, quicker payment processing, and improved customer satisfaction.

In short, a B2B integration enables businesses to operate more efficiently, adapt to evolving market dynamics, exceed customer expectations, and outperform competition in today’s interconnected world.

Ready to experience the positive outcomes of a business integration?

If we have convinced you that integrating your disparate business functions into a single platform is the right move, then you need to get in touch with a custom integration partner like Corptec to facilitate seamless data connectivity and ensure your systems talk to one another in real time.

As an award-winning consulting agency offering technology consulting, technical workforce, and custom development services in four key locations around the world, Corptec Technology Partners can help you execute custom integration projects and unlock the full potential of your enterprise systems. Our experienced team of custom development professionals will ensure that your systems get integrated in a phased manner without any business disruptions or data loss.

We are currently offering detailed pre-project assessments free of cost that will help you evaluate your existing applications and create an integration strategy before deciding on the actual implementation. Moreover, since we have created integrations in the past for our customers, we possess ready blueprints for business integrations for similar-sized enterprises (no need to start building integrations from scratch!).

Discover how custom application integration can propel your business to new heights! Explore your integration options with Corptec today!

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We collaborate with businesses to use technology to manage and transform their operations. Our focus is to provide customized technology solutions that combine the latest advances in digital transformation with a deep understanding of your business goals.

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