Four business benefits of systems integration
Digitalisation in business is inevitable. No matter your industry, we guarantee that your competitors are looking at the benefits of systems integration to streamline workflows, increase efficiency, and show measurable ROI. But as well as keeping you ahead of the competition, the benefits of systems integration are compelling in themselves — let us tell you how.
In short, digital integration is the act of enabling data transfer between any number of applications or databases. And the ability to connect clunky old technology to smooth new software comes with a pile of benefits for both the business and its employees.
Let’s zoom in on one driver of ROI in particular: customer satisfaction. Today’s customers are more likely to buy from a company that:
- recognises them by their name
- knows their purchase history
- recommends products based on their past purchases
There’s no way of achieving these three points without tight integration between your sales and marketing systems. And the benefits don’t stop there — there are thousands of ways you can use data to make customer experiences smoother and more satisfying, from chat bots to targeted online advertising.
Once your integrations are in place, your customers will feel like they’re receiving a high-quality and bespoke service with very little effort from your end. But first of all, let’s consider the downsides of running a business with unintegrated data.
What happens if you don’t consider digital integration?
In the short term, it will be quicker and easier to adopt business tools without considering integration. But you’ll soon start to experience some of the drawbacks below.
1. Inefficient data management
Storing data in different places in a post-GDPR climate is hazardous. If there’s a data leak, your business might face fines and lose the respect of your customers. Disparate data also makes analysing that data a difficult task. Manually gathering data from a selection of unintegrated systems means the margin of error is significantly larger.
2. Wasted employee productivity
Instead of letting your employees work quickly and efficiently, they get stuck mindlessly entering data into each of the applications your company uses. Wasting hours of work on admin means there is less time to focus on critical tasks and responsibilities.
3. Low customer retention
If you’re facing issues with your data flow, you’ll find it hard to meet the demands of today’s digital consumers. They want a slick, smooth, and secure experience across all your company channels.
And on the flipside, what are the key benefits of systems integration you can aim to achieve?
Four ways your business benefits from digital integration
1. Overall business efficiency
We all want our employees to be as productive as possible, and digital integration is one of the most effective ways to achieve this. Streamlining processes such as invoicing, financial consolidation, and basic data entry enables you to boost the productivity of employees across departments.
And by removing the repetitive tasks and focusing on more creative work, you will also boost the job satisfaction of your teams.
2. Better-informed decision making
We’re now entering an era where intuitive data analytics tools allow business users to quickly become data analysts. However, when data is spread across unconnected systems (such as on-premises and in the cloud), these data analytics tools are useless.
Digital integration is the glue that brings all your business data together — so you can make business decisions based on a full picture. Integrated businesses can make critical choices quickly and with a sound mind.
3. Empowering employees to do more
By integrating systems, you can let employees do more with the skills they already have. Rather than having to learn a whole new application, they can access that data and functionality through an interface that’s familiar to them. This speeds up the adoption of new technologies and cuts the cost and time needed for extra training.
4. Low costs and strong ROI
Compared with the disadvantages of running a fragmented business, digital integration is clearly the lower-cost option. Customers report a whopping 300 percent ROI from Dell Boomi integration projects, for example.
And this figure isn’t exclusive to any single integration platform — our customers have benefited equally from Microsoft Azure and Mulesoft technologies. The key is finding the integration approach that best suits your business. To find out more, see our article “How to select a systems integrator for greatest value”.
How to seize the benefits of systems integration
Multiple surveys show that virtually all businesses see the value of an integrated digital workspace. Correspondingly, the number of apps that businesses use is growing year by year. And therefore the need for flexible and cost-effective ways of integrating those applications is also on the rise. So the question is: how can your business best achieve the benefits of systems integration cited above?
If you have the right skills in-house, then the answer is simple. However, in our experience many organisations prefer to draw on the expertise of a systems integration partner.
By working with a systems integrator like Influential Software, you can focus on your core business, get the latest tech wisdom, benefit from cross-sector experience, and kick-start your integration projects.
Want to know more about the real-world benefits of systems integration? Take a look at some of Influential Software’s recent integration projects: