Software integration projects have a terrible rapport in the market. Not only are they costly, but they also take up a lot of time, consume a lot of resources and often end without delivering the desired outcomes. However, this isn’t stopping organizations from succeeding at them.
According to some recent studies, as many as 70 percent of all software and system integration projects fail to achieve their desired objectives. Achieving a comprehensive and complete software integration solution is a problem many IT managers face during their day-to-day jobs. Consider the high stakes of the project, there is greater room for error. Errors in the process can generate an abhorrent lack of alignment and derail the company from its desired objectives.
In this article, we take a look at various reasons that can cause a software integration project to fail and resources to be wasted. The list is by no means exhaustive, but it takes an in-depth look at how these challenges can delay progress and hinder productivity.
Benefits of Software Integration
Before we move on to the challenges of integration and how organizations successfully deal with them, let us first reaffirm your Need for Software Integration Solutions by mentioning some of the benefits it carries.
Integrations will help improve your bottom line in the following ways:
1. Gives Real-Time Visibility
Integration gives you real-time visibility to make informed decisions at crunch moments. Manual processes can be wrought with errors and take up a significant period of time. Integrations allow business leaders to get the data they desire at the right time. This helps increase the accessibility of facts and provides detailed solutions.
2. Boosts Efficiency
Software integration can significantly boost efficiency in output. Employees are able to focus more on the work at hand, as automation gets the repetitive work done. This increases speed, minimizes errors, and gives everybody a chance to maintain efficiency for longer periods.
3. Improved Revenue and Support Capabilities
Software integration projects help improve the bottom line and work on efficiency to improve both manufacturing speed and sales output. Accurate data and efficient processes are necessary for smooth operations. Additionally, businesses in eCommerce need to provide customers with a specific solution. Inaccurate and poorly managed manual processes can take up a lot of time.
Software integrations help reduce costs and can enhance the efficiency of literally all business units and processes. Since they allow you to streamline your processes, the work is done efficiently and saves costs as a result.
Common Challenges of Software Integration
Every organization in today’s world has a diverse set of systems and applications. Connecting these systems and software applications together is a business requirement considered a major challenge for IT teams. Some challenges faced during software integration include:
Connecting to Monolithic Systems
Most organizations going for software integrations have monolithic systems and there is often no way around them. Businesses mostly rely on legacy systems and cannot replace them for the simple sake of software integration. A software system is known as monolithic when the distinguishable aspects inside of it aren’t separate architectural components but are interwoven together.
Project managers overseeing the software integration process should choose the best way to achieve integration without disrupting the monolithic systems. This can only be achieved through clear planning and strategizing.
Different Business Units Have Different Expectations from Data
The use of existing enterprise data is extremely critical to a business’s success. Each business unit or domain sees data in a different light because their capabilities and responsibilities differ from each other. The integration of company-wide software solutions, hence, requires a standardized view, which can be hard to achieve.
System integration experts need to focus more on canonical data modeling here. Most integrators shy away from using canonical models because of how complicated they can be and how hard it is to reach a consensus on them. However, such a model can enhance collaboration and communication across the board.
When IT teams work on integration projects, they are often faced with time and cost constraints. Since projects are managed by non-technical managers, the lack of architectural principles and time requirements can haunt the project and its completion. Managers are always focused on business-centric approaches and fail to provide integration projects with the time and cost room they require. System integrators and project managers must find a balance between time and expectations to ensure optimal delivery.
The Integration Itself
Experts agree that the primary problem of integration lies in the process of integration itself. Roger Channing, the CTO at Cogent brilliantly explains this in his words,
“When you go to IBM, you get an integrated IBM solution. When you go to HP, they lead with an HP solution. But when you say, ‘I already have Dell servers, and I’d like to add HP storage,’ that can become problematic, and that’s where the integration challenge comes from.”
Choosing the Right Tool
There are a number of tools in the market that help with software integration. Choosing the right tool might be a challenge, but can significantly reduce the hassle of your job. An integration tool should support hybrid integration since it allows cloud-based applications to integrate with on-premise applications. Hybrid integration tools are ideal for contemporary organizations that do not want to shift all their resources to the cloud and want to maintain sensitive data on legacy systems as well.
Software integration is the future of the workplace and ensures that you and your employees spend a lot less time searching for information or managing your computer programs. Instead, you can efficiently use this time to help customers and further your business growth, profit, and reach objectives.
We at Programmers.io support our clients in modernizing their legacy systems through Software Integration. We provide integration services for IBM i, COBOL, C, C++, Delphi and more. Get in touch with our experts to know more about our process and take your business to new heights.