What is System Integration and How Can It Help With Digital Transformation? The digital transformation journey is incomplete without proper system integration strategies in place.

By Yasin Altaf

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

In recent years, businesses of all sizes have increasingly relied on digital tools and technologies. There has been a rapid increase in adopting the newest trends to enhance productivity and efficiency and improve processes and outputs.

In their quest to go digital, many organizations are forced to give up their old ways and welcome contemporary processes and systems with open arms. Some traditions are hard to let go of. Thus, business owners and employees alike might be apprehensive of the changes that come with digital transformation.

How can your business make sure to switch it up without losing existing data, systems, processes, techniques or people? An integrated system will address all your troubles and concerns.

What system integration means

Every business, at any point in time, often has a combination of manual and automated online and offline systems to manage each aspect of its operation. To reap maximal benefits from global technological advancements, businesses must fully embrace the digital age. However, going digital can take time.

Many organizations that started early on took each process or department through digitalization. Others wanted to undergo digital transformation in one go — a tiresome, high-risk and expensive process. To take a cautious, calculated approach to digital transformation, there is one integral part of the process you cannot ignore — system integration.

System integration refers to collecting the various separate modules, processes and data systems and having them work in a unified manner. It enables organizations to streamline operations, strengthen collaboration between departments, and improve operational efficiency. This process not only facilitates the introduction of new IT systems to existing digital environments but can also help combine modern systems with dated legacy ones.

Related: Why You Should Speed Up Your Digital Transformation During the Crisis

The benefits of system integration

In recent years, the global system integration market has been growing at impressive rates, and Grandview Research predicts an upward trend for the next few years. Let us explore why system integration is vital to the digital transformation journey and how it can benefit your business.

1. Lower costs

Installing and maintaining multiple disparate subsystems can be expensive. The costs can quickly rack up to staggering amounts over the years. With an integrated modern system, your organization will no longer have to host and manage multiple systems and their individual data stores. A consolidated system will reduce redundancy and repetition and allow valuable resources to be reallocated toward more critical tasks or areas of operation.

Additionally, without a proper system integration strategy, the thought of undergoing digital transformation can be daunting. Introducing a highly complex state-of-the-art digital system to be implemented across the entire organization at once will incur significant financial damage, not to mention the intimidation and doubt it will cast over the workforce. System integration can help assuage the impact of digital transformation by putting existing systems to their best use and only introducing new elements where necessary.

2. Improved efficiencies

Working with many systems — some of which may be entirely isolated — negatively impacts performances and subsequent results. There can be a sizable gap in communication and collaboration. Isolated systems may have to be manually updated with new incoming data. And let us not forget the hassle you would have to go through every time some important information needed to be retrieved. A lot of time would be wasted on interdepartmental communication for the simplest exchange of data, further delaying time-critical resolutions. Even minor errors could cause catastrophic outcomes.

With a consolidated digital platform, you will get many benefits in terms of higher efficiency.

Firstly, system integration will facilitate knowledge transfer by providing a high level of connectivity between teams and departments. This leads us to the second benefit — massive time-saving. Introducing a digital system would open up new possibilities for automating mundane and critical tasks. Urgent decisions could be made in real time. Each member of your organization would then be able to focus their efforts and energies on more important things, boosting the team's collective productivity and efficiency.

Related: 3 Key Steps to Make Your Business More Efficient and More Profitable

3. New insights

With disparate subsystems all handling different data stores, there is a certain gap that can sometimes be difficult or impossible to bridge. Businesses could miss out on a goldmine of valuable insights and reports that high volumes of data could potentially provide. Consequently, they likely make pivotal decisions based on incomplete or inaccurate data.

With an integrated system, all the relevant people can access any data they need at any time. This data can then be used to analyze employee, department or overall business performance. The insights you gain into your business's operations can then be used to make any changes needed to improve outputs and outcomes.

Wrapping up

System integration is an essential part of the digital transformation process, a phase without which businesses will not be able to experience the true advantages of going digital. Thus, your end goal should be not just introducing newer, more innovative IT systems in the workplace but also making room for any adjustments necessary for a truly digital, smooth and unified experience.

Related: Why Enterprise Application Integration for Businesses is an Absolute Necessity?

Yasin Altaf

Executive Director of GoodCore Software

Yasin Altaf is a co-founder of GoodCore Software, a leading software development company in the UK. With an entrepreneurial career of 20+ years and extensive experience in the B2B and tech industries, Yasin specializes in helping businesses overcome complex technological challenges.

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