One of the many struggles every growing company must face is choosing the best system to manage their business operations. Different departments often require specific software resulting in multiple tools being used throughout the organisation.
Using a variety of programs that do not integrate with each other can make it impossible for employees to work effectively or for the organisation to achieve its goals.
Integrating your existing systems will help save your company time and money. Rather than employing a number of systems to accomplish day-to-day tasks, business leaders should strive to implement as few systems as possible, which can be tightly integrated.
Below are some of the business benefits of system integration:
Organisational change readiness
Responsiveness is an essential element in any successful business strategy. Businesses must be able to quickly respond to what’s going on around them in their industry, whether that’s a new offering from a competitor or changes in customers’ expectations.
The ability to integrate systems with the tools required to adapt to a changing environment enable a business to remain competitive and ensure its systems are as future proof as possible.
Connecting systems together can also help your organisation better adapt to internal changes, too. Having a holistic view of data from all areas of the business will enable decision-makers to spot trends, gaps and areas for improvement. These can then be tackled proactively, rather than when problems occur.
Similarly, if all employees have a constant view of what’s happening in the business and industry, they’ll be more prepared for any changes required in order to adapt.
Are your systems flexible enough to adapt and support the implementation of change?
Improved data accuracy
Duplicating data in several systems will lead to reduced accuracy. Because data is often used to make strategic decisions, it needs to be accurate and consistent. If different departments get different data from your systems, and base decisions on this conflicting, inaccurate data, this will lead to confusion and require additional time to reconcile. By reducing the need to duplicate data entry in multiple systems, you can also vastly reduce the probability of human error.
According to Experian, data powers business opportunities in a number of ways. It’s vital that these decisions are based on accurate information, as illustrated below:
Just as many individuals now use apps on their personal devices to integrate and automate social tasks and activities in order to save time and effort, organisations should be also utilising connectivity to improve productivity.
Linking differing social profiles is now a normal part of online life for most. Setting up an automatic process that publishes an update from one social profile to another is commonplace. Using apps such as IFTTT or functionality built into a social network that allows a post to be shared immediately elsewhere, integration and automation have become second nature to us.
The same principles apply at work as well. Systems integration enables employees to achieve tasks faster, but without compromising quality. Rather than relying on another business function to provide information from a system they utilise, if business tools are integrated then all of the information required for reporting or decision-making purposes is instantly available.
Without linked systems, employees have to manually move data from one business app to another. This type of exercise not only distracts employees from other business-critical tasks but also increases the likelihood of inaccuracies occuring.
By enabling information to be instantly shared with the entire business, via integration with all departmental tools, users can report on real-time information. Employees can access data regardless of their location or time of day, ensuring that there is no downtime while they wait for one system to update another. Integratied mobile apps allow a quick and easy-to-digest view of critical data.
Enhanced employee communication and collaboration
By enabling all departments to share information seamlessly you are also encouraging collaboration and communication between these groups. Visibility and transparency of data from differing business areas encourages discussion and teamwork to reach common goals.
Displaying relevant data on a TV in the office allows all employees in your company to get a quick snapshot of the state of your business in real time. By making the information available and easy to digest, trends and opportunities may be noted and discussed that may otherwise have gone unnoticed.
Real-time data visibility
“Real-time data refers to data that is presented as it is acquired. The idea of real-time data handling is now popular in new technologies such as those that deliver up-to-the-minute information in convenience apps to mobile devices such as phones, laptops and tablets”
The faster a business can react to something the better. Being able to see data in real time allows you to see working well and what could be improved, changed or rectified. And, because the data is current, issues can be resolved quickly and while they’re still relevant. Conversely, those areas of the business that are working well can be further improved or enhanced.
With the addition of real-time data, your company can use the time previously spent collecting and analysing data to improve strategies, re-think outdated approaches and increase overall performance. Eliminating the delay between data collection and data analysis helps improve employee productivity.
Ultimately, systems integration could bring many benefits to your organisation – from costs savings to greater flexibility and improved accuracy of information and data. What are you waiting for?