The importance of integration for your business lies in the streamlining of business processes, effective communication between all parties of the supply chain, and the low cost of doing all that.
Yes, technology has changed the business ecosystem for the better. Before the internet and computing, businesses used to rely on traditional means of communication and management to run day-to-day operations. With the internet, they switched on to more advanced systems, apps, and software. However, these too come with their drawbacks. Running each system, app, and software on its own is costly and time-consuming, and it hinders the company’s growth. This is where business integration comes into play.
In the lines to come, we will take a look at what exactly business integration is. We will also dive into several reasons why every business should have an integrated system in place.
What is business integration?
Business integration is a digital strategy whose aim is to link an organization’s different systems together to create one centralized governing hub, which can be used to manage different aspects of the business.
Business integration is designed to streamline business processes within a supply chain and give the organization’s departments and its trading partners live access to important data.
An integrated system is important to the success of any company. It is used to connect a company’s departments, employees, and partners and help them easily exchange information.
The importance of integration for your business
There are several reasons why a company should invest in a business integration strategy. Let’s look at a few of them.
Managing your whole business via one central platform reduces your business operational costs significantly. Costs of human errors, various company systems setup, and maintenance, as well as apps’ licenses can all be decreased with business integration.
Human errors alone are costing businesses trillions of dollars every year. Since a business relies heavily on data to make critical business decisions, a simple data entry error could result in catastrophic financial consequences, easily prevented by using a low-cost and autonomous system instead of manual data entry.
As the business grows, so are its ERP licenses. With every new employee, a new login is required. Why would you pay for every login when you can have a single app all your employees can use? Having one central platform that hosts all the apps your business needs to run smoothly will save you a lot of money in-app subscriptions.
The last business cost that could easily be eliminated by implementing integration software is the setup and maintenance of various running systems. To set up a system, you’ll spend a lot of money upfront on software, hardware, and human resources to get the job done. In addition to that, to keep it up and running, maintenance fees will also occur regularly.
All these are unnecessary expenses. With integration software in place, you can get rid of them permanently.
It streamlines communication within the organization
Miscommunication in the workplace is one of the major issues a lot of businesses struggle with. Having a good business integration strategy in place will make communication between a company’s different departments, like marketing, sales, and HR, as well as other companies within the supply chain, a lot smoother and way more effective than using traditional means of business information exchange.
In the absence of business integration, cross-departmental communication and the communication between companies within the supply chain happen through emails, faxes, and calls. This slows down the process of data exchange significantly.
Using good integration software, on the other hand, everyone involved in running the business will have access to live and update to date information without waiting for a response from other departments.
It’s way more secure
The importance of integrating your business doesn’t stop with the above two benefits. Data security is another reason why every business needs to implement an integration strategy. In a traditional and unintegrated information technology environment, each system’s security is dealt with on its own. Since a business has several systems that keep it up and running, it becomes more prone to security breaches because it is not easy to monitor each system’s security separately.
A well-integrated IT environment, on the contrary, keeps the company’s and clients’ sensitive data safe and secure since all the systems involved in running the business are connected to one central hub. All security efforts and financial resources are then directed to protecting that single system instead of many, making the system almost unhackable.
It gives easy access to data
Staff members across all departments need to make informed decisions every day. Having access to data simplifies this process. An employee doesn’t have to go out of the office to get the data needed to decide on something. Everything is stored in one single place. This easy access to constantly updated information saves employees a lot of time and makes them more productive, as they get to focus on important tasks that will advance the company, instead of having all their valuable time spent fetching for pieces of information here and there. This, in turn, helps the company grow a lot faster.
It automates processes and workflows
Automation and simplicity are two other things that business integration brings to the workplace. Traditionally-structured businesses need multiple systems, apps, and software to operate. It costs the business money, time, and constant delays. It’s not practical for employees either. Not every employee is tech-savvy. Therefore, having an easy-to-use automated data integration platform will take the pressure off their shoulders and streamline their work. An integrated central platform automates every process and workflow in the business. Information exchange is done automatically across all departments. Each member in the organization knows what to do and easily shares and accesses data with and from the rest of the staff.
As you can see, business integration can benefit businesses tremendously. From smooth cross-departmental communication to data accessibility, all the way to cost-effectiveness, business integration should be a priority for businesses looking for massive growth.
Upgrading to a centralized system will help your staff members communicate, your partners easily access important data, and your business scale and grow faster. The good thing about a business integration plan is that it doesn’t require a huge upfront investment. It can be implemented along with the old legacy systems a business already has in place. If you factor in the low cost of setting it up and the other business costs that it cuts down on, like monthly app subscriptions, software maintenance, and the hefty costs associated with human mistakes, the importance of integration for your business can’t be denied.