With digital transformation becoming ever more popular, enterprise application software is becoming more and more complex. Additionally, to meet the needs of some particularly demanding industries, companies are often forced to use more than one solution. Unfortunately, such an approach can sufficiently slow down their workflow, which is why it is highly advisable to either replace the existing systems with new bespoke software meeting all of the needs of a business or to integrate them into one system. The latter, however, is a highly challenging process and, when not performed scrupulously, it can easily end in failure. According to Gartner, a vast majority of organisations still lack an application integration strategy, which results in integration disorder. Most companies do not decide to integrate their systems because of the risks, but why exactly do systems integrations fail and how to prevent it?

 

What is systems integration

To put simply, systems integration means putting together two or more independent systems to work seamlessly as one. Even though the definition may sound simple, the process requires close attention to details and thorough analysis. Often, the existing systems come from different vendors and demand not only combining old components but also developing new ones which enable the management of the new system. The most important part of systems integration is to ensure continuous data flow. This way, you gain real-time visibility and improved communication between the departments. You can find more benefits which come from integrating several systems here.

 

Reasons why systems integrations fail

The process of systems integration consists of several equally important phases. Following these steps, a system integrator is able to carefully analyse your already existing subsystems and the way they work and to thus accurately match the solution to your needs. However, all phases, which I have discussed in detail here and which need to be performed thoroughly one after another in order to ensure the success of the entire operation, entail a risk of failure. The most common reasons why the process of systems integration fails are:

 

  1. Poor business analysis

Regardless of the type of product, a software development company is obliged to define the needs of your business in order to ensure success, however, gathering requirements alone is not sufficient. What is necessary is a thorough business analysis as it allows the specialists to both analyse your requirements in order to understand what you actually need, and to join together their vision of a product with yours. If a business analyst fails to complete this phase, the systems integration will not work the way it was expected.

What to pay attention to

Make sure you are on the same page with a business analyst. You can prepare for the analysis yourself to ensure a seamless information exchange by using these tips

 

  1. APIs too basic

This situation may result from a poor business analysis, but it can also occur when a chosen software development company is simply not experienced enough. The complexity of your subsystems is not the only thing which may be misunderstood or, worse, underappreciated, the EAS vendor may also fail to recognise which features, aside from data access, the future software should offer.

What to pay attention to

Remember that getting data in and out of multiple systems is not everything systems integration is about and that a seamless interconnection between these systems does not assure software functionality.

 

  1. Poor systems integration testing

The system, which is based on multiple subsystems, usually consists of various modules on various levels. To ensure seamless dataflow, they should all be integrated, which is why a particularly careful systems integration testing is necessary. Given the complexity of a product, test engineers often focus on integration testing and ignore unit testing, which makes it impossible for a software development company to provide you with a powerful and stable solution.

What to pay attention to

There are various methods which enable test engineers to ensure the system integration is flawless, what is essential here is that they should test each level of the system separately.

 

  1. No real-time integration

Nowadays, businesses are most profitable when they gain access to data in real-time. It allows them to make more accurate business decisions and improve the communication flow between the departments. However, some EAS vendors do not provide real-time integration which forces you to perform some operations manually.

What to pay attention to

Real-time integration isn’t necessary, but it is definitely recommended to specify the frequency of data integration.

 

TO SUM UP

Even though the process of systems integration may be complicated, it is not impossible and it is definitely recommended if you wish to speed up the workflow of your company. There are several phases of the entire process where particular attention is required, especially when it comes to business analysis and integration testing. We have performed multiple systems integrations and managed large volumes of data, you can see some of our work here

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