Having efficient and working software is vital in ensuring you achieve your business goals. Custom software development can solve your businesses’ software needs impeccably. But you might want to know some other options you have, like software integrations.
Many small-medium businesses have insufficient IT budgets for a complete, comprehensive customized solution. Therefore, they turn to stand-alone programs sold off-the-shelf to run the company’s daily activities. However, these programs tend to progressively increase in number. Becoming overwhelming to manage while encouraging redundancy in data input and processing. This is where now, as a manager or executive, you need to start thinking about software integrations.
What Is Software Integration?
Software or system integration refers to the process of unifying the functions of various programs so they can work together. Ideally, separate systems can be integrated to share data, prevent duplicate entries and other common problematic issues. System integration comes in hardy. Especially for small businesses that are not yet ready for custom software, but their app base is growing fast. Generally, it involves data management processes enabling information to flow between different individual programs automatically.
It may seem like an excellent and straightforward solution for your business on paper. However, you’ll want to first consider its pros and cons before deciding if it’s suitable for you. Let’s start with the upsides.
The Pros of Software Integrations
1. Amplified Productivity
The most noticeable advantage a company can expect from software integrations is how quickly it can increase productivity. This is mainly because it eliminates the excess time employees would use to perform repetitive tasks when working with scattered systems or programs. In addition, software integrations minimize the number of problems caused by errors and mistakes when inputting the same data into various programs. With spare time for staff to work on other things and minimal errors, the company’s productivity goes up.
2. Improved Data Management and Analysis
The secret of business continuity and competitiveness is the ability to provide relevant information to the people who need it, when and where they need it. Analyzing a single program at a time introduces major problems. It’s time-consuming. Making comparison and contrasting inefficient, hence poor analysis results. Accordingly, system integration enables better management as all data and analytics tools can be conducted from a central database.
It’s rather forthright to think this way. Having many programs will require regular maintenance for each, which is costly. Additionally, as maintenance and upgrades are done at different times, it consumes much time and can render system services unavailable for an extended period. Software integration can help you significantly scale-down maintenance costs and downtime. Integration also eradicates the need for more labor because some of the previously manual processes can be automated.
4. Enhanced Customer Experience and Satisfaction
Better services and products will always attract customers. While working with multiple programs causes delay (especially when fixing an error), integrated software improves customer service by eliminating unnecessary processes.
The Cons of Software Integrations
1. Security Vulnerability
Individual programs to be integrated have their security measures in place. By making it all work together, we’re exposing a higher surface area to attacks (e.g., the more moving pieces, the more chances something can go wrong). If a hacker or attacker maximizes this possible security gap in the system, they can access all your company data. When performing software integration, extra protection measures should be employed. Especially on the introduced data channel from where information flows between the programs.
2. It Makes Upgrading Complicated
Indeed, integration doesn’t make several programs one; instead, it ties them together so that they can share data. This means it might still require you to separately upgrade each, making the whole process complicated and slow. If you’re considering an integration-heavy scenario, we usually advise trying to stay with the core functionality of each system you use. Making use of all the bells and whistles of a third party vendor could complicate upgrades considerably. Core functionality rarely changes, so this strategy can make a big difference in your ability to adapt in a hurry later.
3. High Upfront Costs
Although we said that integrations cut costs, remember you still have to purchase each of the programs separately. Coupled with integration expenses, it’s generally pricey to develop an integrated system. Many people are also surprised at the amount of work it takes to do so. We often hear, “But can’t you just hook it up to QuickBooks and be done?” And the answer is… Yes, sometimes. But more often, there are specific details (especially for integrations where the third party doesn’t follow industry standards) for each. So there’s not much in cost reduction by integrating five vendors vs. two.
Could Your Business Benefit from Software Integrations?
Software integrations stand out as an all-in-one solution, especially for SMBs currently on the hill-up when it comes to working with scattered programs and time management. However, if the process doesn’t make sense in terms of costs or efficiency for your business (or partly because you’ve outgrown the usefulness of integrations), custom software development might be the answer you’re looking for.
At Dymeng Services, we understand how frustrating it can be when your software generates more headaches than it does help. Take the first step toward streamlining your business process, whether it’s with software integrations or custom business software. Schedule a call with our team today and see how our custom software development company can help your business. To learn more, feel free to contact us.