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Oleksandr Drobinin
Backend Developer
Business
02.03.2023 | 5 min

Connecting the dots: How System Integration can improve business efficiency and productivity

Whether we like it or not, a vast majority of modern businesses rely heavily on many separate systems. For example, to run a highly efficient factory, companies have to gather and analyze data not only from a massive number of devices, machines, and IoT systems of their own but also from many external systems and platforms.

Connecting the dots: How System Integration can improve business efficiency and productivity - 2023 56
Table of Contents
  • Five reasons why system integration is such a crucial aspect of business and software development
  • The biggest challenges in system integration
  • System integration in action
  • Business efficiency should be approached as a process, not a goal

That’s why the role of system integration has become so instrumental for business efficiency and productivity. In the next few paragraphs, we’ll talk in detail about:

  1. Why is system integration such a crucial aspect of business and software development?
  2. What are the biggest challenges of system integration?
  3. How is system integration changing how we look at business processes?

Five reasons why system integration is such a crucial aspect of business and software development

System integration should always be motivated by the clear-cut benefits it brings for the business, and there are quite a lot of possible positive outcomes.

1. Minimizing the risk of human error (or unavailability)

It’s still quite common that people have to generate reports, gather data, and run analyses with their own hands. Quite often, the reason for it is that there are multiple data sources and systems that aren’t integrated.

And because we’re all human, there’s always a risk that a person places a comma in the wrong spot or adds too many zeroes. On top of that, that person can simply call in sick, and that’s also a perfectly human thing to do.

System integration provides us with reliability and security in that sense. Algorithms, fortunately, don’t make those kinds of mistakes and always give us whatever we want, whenever we want.

Most importantly, they save us time and relieve us from the most tedious, repetitive tasks.

2. Massive amounts of time saved

Let’s say that an engineer in a factory has to spend an hour each day on a task that could be automated. It’s a medium-sized factory, so let’s make it ten engineers. There are 22 working days in a month on average, so that’s 220 hours each month.

But that’s not all. A couple of engineers are in for a promotion, so they’ll have to find someone else to take their spots and take over that particular task. They’ll have to teach the new people how to do it. And how much time will that take?

At the same time, the company grows, and more people are needed. As a result, the number of unnecessary work hours keeps on growing. If only we had properly integrated systems and automated processes…

3. Allowing people to focus on what they do best

Even more important “resource” that we’re getting thanks to system integration in addition to time is the headspace. Trivial tasks often stack up and drain people from focus and creativity. More time means more communication, problem-solving, and more ability to think outside the box and figure out better solutions.

4. Faster and better decision-making process

The instant access to all the instrumental data makes the decision-making process much more manageable. If every relevant information is available immediately, we can make accurate, well-informed decisions right on the spot.

5. Scalability

Companies that have automated processes and well-integrated systems are much easier to scale. Of course, that’s largely due to reducing costs, time, and all the risks that we’ve mentioned before. However, there’s also another significant side to it.

System integration gives a much better understanding of the big picture because it allows analyzing all the key processes and their influence on each other. As the company expands, this aspect becomes more and more significant.

The biggest challenges in system integration

The biggest question and challenge in system integration is not “How?” but “Why?”. We need to know what goals we are trying to achieve with every integration. If we’re able to answer that question, technical aspects are usually fairly straightforward.

However, of course, there are rules and good practices that any developer should follow in system integration. For example, it’s good to think of all the scenarios (e.g., blackouts) that can happen and prepare alternative options if any system fails to deliver what we’re asking.

In general, it’s good to build system integrations according to Murphy’s laws. If we can prepare for a situation where everything goes wrong, we should do it.

System integration in action

Let’s take a subject and an example that pretty much every business can relate to. At the same time, it’s an area close to our hearts.

The energy.

The broad topic of energy becomes more and more significant each year. Last year’s energy crisis surely contributed to that, but there are also Sustainable Development Goals for 2030 that require companies to limit the usage of fossil fuels.

Therefore, companies pay more attention to the following:

  • How much energy do they consume?
  • How do they purchase energy?
  • What are the energy sources that they use?
  • How can all those things be optimized?
  • And much more

In order to meet the legal requirements, reduce energy costs and limit total energy consumption, companies require a full understanding of all the crucial processes. System integration plays a major role in achieving that. It gives us the necessary data and allows a quick and efficient analysis.

For example, with a sufficient data set about energy consumption during different times of day, we could optimize processes to maximize production when the energy is the cheapest and save a lot of money.

Business efficiency should be approached as a process, not a goal

When we’re talking about business efficiency and many different ways to improve it, we should never treat it as a project that can be done and forgotten. Single integrations can be treated that way, but not the idea of integration as a whole.

Usually, in the process of increasing productivity, we try to pick the lowest-hanging fruits that will give our clients the most benefit in the shortest time. However, new technologies and tools emerge almost on a daily basis, and almost always, there will be more to automate and improve.

And, while automation becomes more and more prevalent across the company, everyone realizes how impactful and helpful it is.

So, if you’re looking for a team that will help you find ways to increase business efficiency with system integrations, we’re here for you. Arrange a call with us here.

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