There is no such thing as having too much data when it comes to managing your business and providing services to your customers. When this data is compartmentalized into its independent instances, organizations are not making the most of their software expenditures and continue to cause issues in their operations. A company that maintains its ERP and CRM systems separately, for example, must still manually enter data from one system into the other. To accomplish processes such as payment authorization and order fulfillment, users must switch between many platforms. This wastes significant hours that might have been spent on income-generating pursuits.
Here comes the necessity of properly integrating your software into your company’s everyday operations, so we’ve highlighted the software integration process as well as the most crucial measures you should take to accomplish a thorough integration process as recommended by JFrog.
What Is Software Integration?
The process of combining several software components into a single, cohesive whole is known as software integration. To execute this procedure, several software components must be brought together. Integration of applications of this kind is becoming an increasingly important need for businesses that use different systems for the many activities that they do. This category encompasses a broad range of operations, some of which include the recording of sales, the maintenance of a supplier database, and the maintenance of a customer database. Certain functions of this platform are necessary to merge all of these diverse computer systems and applications into a single platform on which data may be assembled and analyzed.
Main Software Integration Steps
The following are the primary steps you must take in order to complete a successful integration in your company on time.
Set Clear Goals
Before you begin, ensure that you have thoroughly considered what is required of you by taking the time to do so. In many circumstances, the desire for integration will stem from a single department or division within the business. Since it is normal for them to be preoccupied with their requirements, you must engage all important stakeholders from the start of the process. This will provide you with a thorough picture of what is necessary for the organization as a whole.
Look for a Change Manager
A good business reason is required to begin the process of transforming your company’s operations. Finding the right change manager, sponsors, and project management structure is critical to building momentum. If your sponsoring organization or project manager does not wield adequate power, the project will get bogged down in a slew of minor issues.
A common fallacy that leads to incorrect appointments is assuming that the person with the greatest technical competence also has the skills required to effectively manage projects. A competent project manager should be able to rely on the technical abilities of others at all times; nevertheless, technicians are typically more accustomed to managing tasks than mobilizing resources.
Find a Trustworthy Partner
Who is the most qualified individual to carry out the integration on your behalf?
It is simple to think of the project as a one-time task; nevertheless, you will need a solution that is flexible enough to change both with your company and with the software that you are integrating with. Find a vendor that is familiar with both sets of software, as well as your particular requirements, and can guarantee that the integration will function properly with all future versions of both sets of software.
When compared to custom integration, the use of off-the-shelf solutions may result in significant cost savings; however, this does not always mean that they are the best choice for you.
Focus on the Details
As known, the devil is in the details. Work through as many alternative scenarios as you can in as much detail as you can, and make sure that the integration provider is involved in as many of these communications as possible from the start.
If you settle for a prepackaged product, your options for customizing what you get are restricted. If, on the other hand, you choose a customized solution, you must verify that the supplier is aware of your final goals in addition to the technical needs.
Keep a Close Eye on the Process
After giving your team the power and direction to affect change, the next step is to ensure that the delivery phase is closely controlled. Create a formal decision log to document all of the decisions that have been made and accepted.
Because change may spiral out of control, appropriate versioning and escalation procedures for the new processes must be implemented. Put them in writing within the framework of the project’s formal control structure to ensure that any changes are handled consistently and that enough preparation is done ahead of time.
Be Cautious of Breakups
Nothing can exist endlessly. In the same way that you should plan to retain long-term collaborations with software vendors, you should also plan for what will happen if one or both of your systems are changed.
When considering changing any application, it is critical to consider what other software is dependent on the software in question. Make a centralized record of all integrations and the necessary contacts for them. Frequently, a firm will have one expert who knows all there is to know about a certain relationship, which is great—until that expert departs the organization.