What are the 4 Types of System Integration
Many companies use multiple systems in their everyday business operations. One system might act as a CMS for ecommerce products, another might keep track of inventory. The problem that arises when using multiple systems is that the more systems that are being used, the less efficient and productive operations can be. Luckily, there are ways to get each system to communicate with the rest so that data is accurate, consistent, and efficiency is increased. In the software application world, this is known as System Integration.
Pros & Cons of System Integration
Integrating the systems your company uses has many advantages, but also a few disadvantages, which developers need to keep in mind. Let’s review some pros and cons.
Pros of System Integration
Optimized & Consistent Data - Discrepancies in data can cause a lot of problems within a business. Inventory numbers need to match, pricing needs to be correct, and product information needs to be up-to-date. System integration can allow each application or program to communicate with one another so that this information is the same everywhere and can be updated quickly and easily.
Increased Productivity - Having to manually manage the supply chain can take an extensive amount of time and effort from various employees. Implementing an integration solution will minimize human errors and time spent on formatting data via automatic translation and transferal processes. This will alleviate employees from having to do this so that they can invest that time in other more impactful business operations, project management and initiatives. Examples include contacting vendors, placing purchase orders, fulfilling customer requests, and general internal and external communication, which are all vital to successful operations.
Reduce Expenses - Integrating systems may carry an additional upfront cost, but will actually reduce operating expenses over time. This is because many manual processes will now be automated. This automation also can greatly improve customer satisfaction and service.
Cons of System Integration
Upfront Cost - Depending on the situation, integrating systems can be expensive. What companies need to realize is system integration isn’t a sunk cost - it’s actually an investment. The initial cost should be more than paid for over time through increased productivity and efficiency.
Can Present Security Risks - Since all systems are now communicating with each other, security can be more of an issue if the integration is not done correctly. Before, if one system was compromised, it would be contained to that system. Now, all systems would be compromised.
Upgrading Becomes Much More Complicated - Many system integration solutions are customized, so upgrading specific systems can be difficult and will likely require an experienced developer.
Types of System Integration
There are 4 main types of system integration. Before committing to a method, it’s important to review each option with an experienced development company.
- API Integration - API stands for Application Programming Interface and is the most common method. API establishes interconnections between systems using common code language, allowing seamless transmission of data.
- Webhooks - Webhooks are also known as HTTP callbacks. Unlike API, which is code-based, webhooks are based on events. These events trigger specific actions in the different systems. This allows for employees to access real-time data whenever it’s needed, and this data is all automated.
- Integration Services Components (ISC) - ISC is also not code-based. ISC actually connects servers with local management tools so data can be accessed without the need to download large files.
- Orchestration - These systems are the most automated and have the ability to handle task scheduling between several different solutions. The goal is to consolidate repeat processes to enhance productivity and efficiency.
Integrating your systems together so they can easily talk to each other can have huge benefits and is usually a great investment into your business. If you want to know how you can get your systems to communicate with each other, click the button below. We’ll help you figure out the best solution.