High levels of risk involved in the process, strong resistance to change, and heavy investments with no benefits realized anytime soon – these are some of the many reasons why most IT departments try their best to avoid system integration projects.
Similarly, the arguments that support systems integration are equally strong: enterprise mobility has now become a reality, new cloud-based services are launched and on-line collaboration is at an all-time high. Because of these reasons, enterprises need to update their existing systems to manage data more effectively and securely.
Because of the complexity and resources involved, it is always best to take a step back and chalk out a plan of action for successful systems integration. Here’s a look at the six steps involved in a systems integration strategy:
Tip 1: Avoid the Blame-Game
Since the beginning of the integration project, the management needs to keep everyone in the loop. This means providing adequate input and engaging experts who can convey the benefits of system integration to all employees.
In addition, create a culture of cooperation and proactive problem-solving. This includes coordinating all activities between the various departments and functions working on the integration project and discussing all project-specific complexities beforehand.
Tip 2: Set Milestones
A systems integration plan is complex and wide-ranging and is part of an overall strategic vision of what the company should look like. In the shorter run, it may lead to repetitive tasks for the employees. Hence, it is always best to divide the overall plan into a series of smaller plans or milestones – each with a definite outcome and a measurable value.
Tip 3: Address all Security Challenges
Since most of the sensitive business data can now be accessed by business owners and managers through their smart phones, thanks to mobile-compatible ERPs, it is necessary to understand all the workflow and particular instances when sensitive data is vulnerable to unauthorized access.
Brainstorm all possible ways to implement effective security measures over business data. This includes securing all information with passwords and encryptions and ensuring that the data cannot be stored on the device.
Tip 4: Use Only Relevant Integration Tools
All system integration tools are neither the same, nor useful. Make sure you fully understand the function of each tool and your requirements. The two main tools you are likely to come across include process-based integration tools and data synchronization tools. The former is ideal for integrating workflows and processes while the latter is important for uploading and updating data.
Tip 5: Monitoring Performance Management
Monitoring and performance management capability is one of the most vital features of any integration solution. Whenever the system fails at the transmission stage, the integration tool should be capable of automatically re-sending the message. Furthermore, the monitoring tool enables the system to cache all un-delivered transmissions and provide extra resources to counter any sudden peak in demand.
Tip 6: Justify all Costs
Systems integration is a resource-consuming project. It can cost several man hours and a large amount of money. Performing a cost vs. benefit assessment at planning and executing stage will help you keep the project on-course, avoid bottlenecks and ensure a smooth integration with improved business performance.
At Synthesis, we offer economical and reliable system integration services that allow businesses to streamline their operations. Call us today and learn more about the benefits of successful system integration.