System Integration Assessment
Do you fully understand your business systems ecosystem architecture? Do you even care at all? Ever wonder why what you thought to be in a perfectly healthy state, your CRM, ERP, eCommerce, Data Warehouse, among other applications you use, just stopped working one day? This happens because of things you missed to see and most of these disruption-leading oversights are actually from faulty decision making concerning what and how your business systems and applications are integrated. Below we point out these mistakes:
- You trust that your IT team or integration consultant/ vendor understands the business process perspective of your integration project;
- The latter has given you an overwhelming amount of good reasons why you should decide to integrate;
- You did not have time to fully mapped out the integration architecture as each integration were uniquely developed on a per-need basis throughout the years; and
- A combination of some or all three.
“As-Is: Scattered and Tangled System Integration Design”
*A visual illustration of a scattered and tangled business software/ application ecosystem or the usual “As-Is State”
Over time, as the number of applications and services running within the enterprise soars and business requirements change, point-to-point integration prohibits scale, thereby becoming an unrealistic solution. Businesses end up with a tangled web of integrations. These integrations become more and more difficult to change, as a simple update could disrupt the entire ecosystem.
Whether you’re confident or casting doubt about your business system integration setup, find out some of the common characteristics of a system integration architecture that is doomed to fail:
Presence of data silos
- Because of disparate applications that do not allow sharing of data, making business processes long and arduous. Even the simple data extraction and admin tasks take too long, consuming your time that is better spent on higher-value tasks.
Future systems update incompatibilities
- Because of either having a loose process of business software selection or not having an integrated business software solutions roadmap.
- Because of a highly populous business systems ecosystem and decentralized integration setups with every company department having its integration solution.
A multitude of operational resources and dependencies
- This is not a consequential factor but an inevitable stage in a scaling or growing business which is a problem not addressed but rather amplified in system integration.
Varying data formats from different sources
- This is an unnecessary by-product of #4 caused by an uncoordinated business process
Modular introduction of integration solution(s)
- Because your team did not have time to fully mapped out the integration architecture as each integration was uniquely developed on a per-need basis throughout the years.
No clear business roadmap
As the amount of applications and services running within the enterprise soars and business requirements change, point-to-point integration prohibits scale, thereby becoming an unrealistic solution. Businesses end up with a tangled web of integrations. These integrations become more and more difficult to change, as a simple update could disrupt the entire ecosystem. Check out the two illustrations we have presented below to have a visual understanding of how a scattered and tangled system integration in a business software ecosystem means.
“To-Be/ Future State: Organized/ Centralized Ecosystem”
*A visual illustration of an organized/ centralized business software ecosystem or the “To-Be or Future State”
An organized/ centralized business software ecosystem running on a great system integration design will allow you to seamlessly connect or exchange data (for example) between your data warehouse, ERP, customer support, ecommerce, business intelligence, CRM, and other cloud services. This is what we call the “To-Be or Future State” of a scattered and tangled business software ecosystem.
Your business system integration architecture defines your company’s business operations, including applications and databases. If you want a stable and optimal business software ecosystem then an organized/ centralized system integration design is your solution. Strengthening your business software ecosystem through managing your system integrations well reaps the achievement of your long-term goals, enabling you to focus wholly on your business model and establish a secure and stable business systems architecture.
System integration is surely an expensive and time-consuming process. As it is an investment, it should benefit you in the long run instead of causing disruptions. That’s why it should be done well. With our 60+ years of experience in business systems implementation and system integration, and even having developed our own integration platform (product), you path towards the Future State (centralized, standardized and optimal system integration) is guaranteed.
Although we mainly offer NetSuite-centric solutions, our team can carry out System Integration Assessment on any type of business systems and applications.
What to expect from our engagement:
- We will go through a discovery workshop to ascertain the “Current State” of your business system integration setup. This activity will approximately take 2-3 weeks, depending on the availability of key (client) stakeholders, to achieve this initial engagement’s objectives, and the extent of time needed to fully capture, understand and analyze the current and future states.
- We will then define your ideal “Future State” and roadmap the IT project(s) and/or business process initiative(s) to attain it.