Consider the technology that underpins today’s small, medium, and enterprise-level enterprises. These technologies are a haphazard collection of software designed for certain tasks. Accounting software, such as Quickbooks, is used by business owners early on to keep track of their accounts.
As the company expands, the owner adds new software to handle activities such as customer account management, inventory management, communications, and more.
Each element may be well-designed, but none of them can function together to create a consolidated, all-in-one platform where employees can access all of the information they need to manage the company.
This is where software integration can help you out.
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What is Software Integrations, and how do they work?
Software integrations, also known as application integrations, allow you to link together a group of similar apps to meet specific business needs. It is defined by Gartner as the process of allowing independently designed apps to collaborate.
The interaction of programs or software occurs on various levels, including:
- Sharing and storing multiple copies of the same data across several applications
- Using a single interface to access the features of multiple software programs
- Bringing separate systems together to integrate the flow of activities
What types of Software Integrations are there?
Software integration is the process of combining two or more software applications. When applications integrate, they share information, saving you time and reducing errors by updating data in linked applications instantly.
The following are some of the most prevalent methods for integrating software applications:
1. Application programming interface (API) integration: API integration has become the de facto standard for connecting computer programs such as apps, websites, and databases. APIs are a set of standard programming languages that allow computer programs to access and share data and functionality.
2. Integration Platform-as-a-Service (iPaaS): These are cloud-based integration service platforms that allow developers to create integration flows between on-premise and SaaS applications.
3. Enterprise bus service (EBS): EBS are tools that sit in the middle of two or more applications and facilitate data exchange. Large firms usually employ EBS solutions to integrate internal enterprise applications in a service-oriented architecture (SOA)*.
What are some Software Integration Examples?
Software connections connect your existing or new technologies so that data and functionality may be shared simply.
Let’s take a look at project management (PM) software. You can use these tools to schedule projects, assign tasks to team members, and track their progress. Your teams will, however, often employ a variety of additional solutions to efficiently manage projects, such as chat programs, file sharing tools, or email software.
By integrating your PM solution with these technologies, your staff will be able to work more quickly and efficiently. Integration with email software, for example, might allow staff to quickly convert emails into tasks. Check out our research on the top integration leaders in project management software to learn more about PM software integrations.
Here are a few examples.
- Integration with Social Media: This can be accomplished using a Twitter or Facebook API that automatically updates your accounts whenever you upload information on your website or blog.
- CRM Integration: You can integrate your CRM tool with your email marketing platform. This makes it simple to develop and send email campaigns directly from your CRM software or to receive email notifications when client information in the CRM changes. In this area, you can learn more about CRM integration and the integration leaders.
- Integration of IT Service Management (ITSM): ITSM integration is a complex procedure that integrates a variety of solutions. To streamline the tracking and management of licenses, the interface allows data to be exchanged across tools such as ticketing software, IT asset management software, and license management solutions.
What are the advantages of Integrating Software?
As a business expands, so does its need for software solutions. Businesses must, however, guarantee that multiple systems operate together in addition to purchasing software.
Software integrations are becoming increasingly important as a means of facilitating the easy interchange of data between different systems. Employees are less likely to make mistakes while manually inputting data into many disconnected systems as a result of this.
Software integration connects systems, saving businesses time by providing a consolidated picture of processes from a single system. If you’re looking to buy a new HR system, such as absence and leave management software, selecting one that interacts with your accounting software will help you perform payroll calculations faster and more accurately.
Here are three continuous advantages of using integrations
- Your user base will grow more quickly.
The first step in a company-wide adoption process is to onboard a new solution. One of the most important needs is the ease with which new users can be added, allowing the new solution to reach its full potential.
Let’s look at a case in point. An Observability Pipeline is their solution, which provides Monitoring-as-Code for any cloud infrastructure. They were having two issues before integrating with software, a drop-off throughout the onboarding process and a sub-optimal user base inside already onboarded firms.
- Increase in number of people who use your product.
Even when you have a vastly superior product, introducing new products into an existing environment always presents challenges. This is primarily due to the fact that people dislike change.
Integrating with industry-standard tools like Puppet makes it easier to integrate your solutions into businesses that already use them. Because their operations teams are already aware of the core platform that unifies access across the ecosystem, integrating them into their workflows will be easier.
- Reduce in user’s system’s complexity.
Building the best-in-breed products is no longer adequate. Customers are looking for solutions to integrate your items into their workflows as quickly as possible. For a single area of operations, it’s not uncommon to discover solutions from many providers. It takes time and money to learn how to manage each one. However, by providing integrations, you enable your clients to smoothly integrate all of their technology.
What should you keep in mind when integrating software?
While software integrations aid organizations in completing tasks more quickly and increasing staff productivity, they may also be a nuisance, particularly for small businesses with limited IT resources and finances.
When requirements change later, such as the need to add more data or more users to the systems, managing interconnections between different systems can become complex and time-consuming. You must guarantee that the software providers (of the systems being integrated) can manage the integrations as your business requirements change.
It’s also not enough to simply have integrated systems. To avoid performance concerns, the systems require regular upgrades and bug patches from their providers. Some companies may charge you an additional fee for support services, while some charge a fee each time their API is used, the cost of the integration might escalate.
How much does it cost to integrate software?
Simple plugins that allow you to automatically send blogs to social media channels are examples of integrations. They can also be complicated, such as when a bank uses regulatory bodies’ APIs to automatically file compliance reports. The more complicated the integration required, the more money you’ll need to spend.
Is it necessary for me to integrate all of our current software solutions?
The answer is contingent on your company’s needs and the overall return on investment from software integration.
Consider the relevance of email to your business when combining a CRM solution with an email tool, for example. Is email marketing a significant part of your client acquisition strategy? If this is the case, then such an integration could be beneficial.
Consider how much time and money will be required. It may just take a few days if the providers of both products have built-in integrations for each other. However, if you need bespoke integration from both vendors, the process may become more expensive and time-consuming.
Will data security be jeopardized as a result of integration?
Software integrations almost always necessitate data sharing between multiple systems. If unauthorized users gain access to sensitive client data, this can be a security risk.
To guarantee that sensitive data is not lost or compromised, you must verify that systems handling sensitive data have suitable data security mechanisms in place, such as data encryption and backup.
All integration efforts are built on the foundation of APIs. You are the greatest judge of how your customers will use your products and whether an existing API can already provide them with effective access.
However, in order for integration to be successful, you must consider how your customers would use the integration rather than just your product. Remember, you want them to use a separate channel to access your product.
You may assume that the most up-to-date technology is the way to go when it comes to innovation. In actuality, a company’s consumer must be the center of attention. Software firms can construct integrated systems that keep the market wants top of mind at every stage of development by adopting a customer-first mentality.