How to overcome business integration headaches

     

Deploying a new application or system can be an exciting time for a company, with the promise of streamlined processes, better efficiency and increased productivity close at hand. But it can also be a challenge as a range of issues must be addressed in order for the new technology to be implemented properly.

According to a report recently conducted by a U.K.-based consulting firm, headaches associated with integration were cited as the No. 2 barrier for growth among respondents. Specifically, 59 percent ranked such issues among their top three concerns, and 27 percent said it was the biggest issue for them.

integration headaches

"Organizations are lacking the foundation for growth with lack of integration between IT systems proving the biggest growth barrier," Simon Fowler, managing director of research sponsor Advanced Business Solutions, said.

However, these problems can be addressed through an organization's business integration strategy as long as the company focuses the right areas. Two of the most important are silos and senior management buy-in.

Silos

This is perhaps the top issue many companies face when engaging in a business integration process. By definition, an information silo is a system that is inoperable with other related systems, unable to communicate or work in conjunction with the existing solution. A silo is created when a newly deployed application or platform is cut off from the rest of the organization in an IT no-man's land of sorts.

Creating a silo when deploying a new solution is a good way to ensure failure from the start, unfortunately. When a system becomes a silo, data is unable to move in or out, rendering it all but useless.

Senior management buy-in

In order for an integration project to be success, all areas of the business should be on board and involved, starting at the top.

Senior-level managers and executives should recognize the importance of the new system, including why it's needed and what benefits should be derived from it. This can be accomplished by making a business case for the project, effectively informing the top brass about all that has gone into the effort.

Business integration can be a tricky process for any company, especially when considering the deployment of the cloud. However, according to a recent TechTarget report, third-party integration services can provide the base companies need to ensure cloud migrations are successful.