Over the past decade of rapid technological advancement, companies have sought out ways to simplify needlessly complex development stacks. Use a systems integrator to meet your business’ needs, implement effective applications, and improve struggling company processes.
What is a Systems Integrator?
A systems integrator refers to an entity that can ensure different components and technologies come together as a cohesive, functional whole system. Though the term may sound a little vague, this competent leader uses their breadth of knowledge and experience to solve problems and improve business processes.
Often, these key individuals know about software, enterprise architecture, and hardware engineering, in addition to the company’s underlying goals. They have a holistic sense of where the business is headed and how to get it there. They are vital for allowing a prototype to build, synthesize, and manifest in the proper way while cutting down on unnecessary processes.
Occasionally, this term doesn’t just apply to a single person; in fact, a whole company or branch may be responsible for enabling proper process integration. Integration can refer to anything ranging from the nitty-gritty technical details of implementing a product to coalescing on a broad market strategy.
How Can Systems Integration Streamline Business Processes?
Though it’s difficult to boil down, there are five very significant ways that a systems integrator can reduce the complexity underlying key business processes.
1. Identifying the Vital Sub-Processes
In the science of business management, there are several distinct types of integration methods. Through proper integration, vital sub-systems are first identified before they can be harmonized into a functional overarching process.
The major forms of integration include point-to-point, vertical, star and horizontal integration.
Point-to-point, which is the simplest, relates business processes in a one-to-one relationship. Processes are only related to their most direct causes and effects, which can quickly become untenable to manage as soon as there are too many relationships in a system.
Integrators help to identify these unnecessarily complex relationships, later allowing the company to cut out time-consuming processes in order to achieve their goals.
An Example: Coalescing Point-to-Point to a Horizontally Integrated System
Let’s take a common example of the healthcare industry. Many doctors complain that they have to bounce between totally unrelated record-keeping software to identify their patients’ needs in a point-to-point style system.
An integrator may develop a specialized system that would link these disparate pieces of software together. This main software would communicate to each program with a direct link, thereby reducing the number of different programs a single provider would need to access in order to treat a patient.
In this example, the integrator identified the point-to-point relationship and recognized it would be better served by a horizontally integrated solution. Over time, the new solution would indirectly result in decreased patient latency and improved performance.
2. Reducing Frustrating Middleware Complexities
Not only do integrators identify relationships, but they are also able to tie together disparate systems in order to fully meet business requirements.
Without the aid of a perceptive team lead, development groups may use clunky APIs in order to pair two necessary processes together. The resultant program may make the overall process too complicated, especially when the team relies on third-party interfaces that are subject to external change.
Integrators are able to implement a software system that is both more reliable and usable in the specific context of the company. Through implementing proprietary and commercial systems, integrators can work completely within business requirements instead of merely patching data together.
3. Driving Analytical Insight
Through systems integration, the company can rely on proven tools and processes to streamline development. In addition to aiding data transfer between disparate software processes, an integrator can allow for even better data integration and insight.
Occasionally, a team needs to gather data from multiple systems for analysis and presentation. Based on the data, a company must decide what direction to head in or how smoothly a process is functioning.
Proper data collection, storage and reporting require synchronized action between a broad database, which stores meta-information about the company or the targeted market. The data must then be pushed into a processing application and may later be consolidated into a single report.
When a company uses disparate software, it can be extremely tricky to accurately aid communication between different systems. Integrators can help the company determine whether data integration is needed and how to best complete the process.
4. Enhancing the Value of Business Software
It can be costly to abandon legacy software. Old, outdated programs may be used to perform a necessary task, even though more efficient options are available. When abandoning old processes isn’t possible, an integrator can help.
Through developing more streamlined systems, an integrator may extend the lifespan and optimize business software systems. These key individuals may create proprietary APIs in order to preserve the functionality of legacy systems.
Integrators help to limit the software sprawl that impedes a company’s ability to succeed, especially by integrating customized functionality into the old system.
5. Improving Project Management
Streamlining business processes isn’t all about targeting software and hardware issues. Integrators facilitate communication between separate entities within a team, company, or branch in order to achieve the best result.
Whether these entities are people or software, integrators are meant to simplify the exchange of information within a broad system.
An Example: Decreasing Bilateral Dependence
In a bilaterally dependent system, two separate sub-processes that could function independently rely on information generated by the other process.
Though the term is commonly used in computer programming, it’s an issue that plagues most businesses and processes in even the most subtle ways. When a process relies on the result of an external process, both are not able to function at their maximally efficient rate of output.
In the worst-case scenario, a situation of deadlock can arise: business process A may rely on B’s output, while B first needs A’s result to progress. Neither process can progress since they’ll wait on each other indefinitely.
In this case, an integrator is able to untangle the bilaterally dependent relationship between the two processes before it leads to a deadlock. Whether this business process is technological or team-based in nature, competent systems integration can keep the company running smoothly.
Are You Ready To Streamline Your Business Processes?
If you’re ready to get your business processes streamlined with a systems integrator, contact the team at PRISMA. PRISMA Integration is a leader in systems integration and has experience in a variety of industries.