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What is a Systems Integrator and Why You Should Use One
What is a Systems Integrator and Why You Should Use One
If you’re considering implementing a new technology into your IT infrastructure, you may have considered bringing a systems integrator on board. Systems integrators can help streamline the otherwise tedious process of integrating a new product into your existing tech stack, so the business team can focus on more important tasks. Here’s more about what systems integrators do and how they can benefit your business.
What is a system integrator?
Systems integration refers to linking several sub-IT components to create a unified system that functions as a whole. A typical systems integration project may involve linking different software or IT services within an organization to achieve uniformity and operational efficiency.
System integrators can be individuals or specialized companies that build and deploy IT solutions using a combination of hardware, network, and storage from different vendors. Technicians offering integration services may have a bachelor's degree in software programming, computer science, statistics, or engineering. Integration specialists should have good project management skills and deep hands-on experience with popular integration platforms in their industry.
The primary reason why businesses hire systems integrators is to boost productivity and standardize the quality of products or service delivery. A well-implemented integration system will speed up information access across the organization while cutting operational costs. Working with a systems integrator is significantly cheaper than engaging an ERP provider to build a customized application for your business. Without system integrators, businesses would have to purchase IT components separately and from different vendors.
The role of system integrators
During the 1980s, multinational organizations began to feel the need for robust integrated systems to keep up with scaling operations. Over the years, many of the pioneer system integration companies rebranded or merged to widen their IT service coverage.
Today, many IT service firms identify as system integrators but may provide managed and cloud computing services in addition to integration services.
SI's are involved in the entire life cycle of IT systems from planning to deployment. They facilitate data flow from various systems within an organization to solve a particular business need. The integration solutions can be simple and entirely internal or complex and involve many third parties.
The integrator's primary role is to design, test and deploy a systems linkage solution. The integration process may entail customizing an existing application, building a new one, and linking it to existing hardware and software resources.
Besides the initial design and implementation, they may also continuously provide system maintenance services, including engaging third parties to facilitate linkages.
System integrators also bring on board crucial expertise that may be lacking internally in most organizations. For example, despite the endless possibilities of cloud computing, many organizations still lack the internal capacity to integrate such systems.
System integrators often collaborate with other specialists, including programmers, data engineers, and software developers, to integrate systems successfully.
Entartes is a modern-day integration services company that helps corporate clients benefit from process integration using reliable ERP and cloud solutions. Entartes integration process takes less than eight weeks to accomplish, thus saving time and resources for the client.
How a systems integrator can benefit your business
Deploying a new application or system can be time-consuming and require significant expenditure from initiation to adoption. For businesses with multiple systems, running them without integration can introduce inefficiencies. Here's how integration can benefit your business and solve problems arising from the decentralization of systems.
Many businesses would struggle to collect and manage information without system integration services. Integration solutions help streamline an organization's process by making repetitive processes more fluid, thus cutting operating costs. Besides streamlining internal processes, automation helps boost worker safety and engagement. Automation is particularly useful in systems that require cross-communication with other systems to complete certain tasks.
Enhances accuracy and process coordination
Integration systems work by collating information from different sources into a central repository that is easily accessible across the organization. Businesses with integrated systems benefit from enhanced coordination because they no longer have to manually sync processes running in different systems. In an integrated system, if the information is modified in one system, the changes will automatically update across all other systems linked to it. The automatic updates and synchronization further enhance information accuracy because the chances of unauthorized access are greatly minimized.
System integration helps achieve cost savings for an organization by eliminating task repetition and duplication. Through integration, essential day-to-day tasks become more manageable while utilizing the same or fewer resources. Additionally, adopting centralized data management systems reduces the cost of handling organizational data.
A business that embraces cloud computing also benefits from cost savings by paying for only the resources they use. Integration via the cloud significantly reduces data storage and processing costs for businesses that process and store data in batches. Lastly, an integrated system is cheaper to update when everything works in tandem.
Efficiency and productivity
Loopholes between a firm's departments can introduce bottlenecks and result in poor business performance. Without integration, departments that rely on inputs from other departments may struggle to keep up with data updates whenever they occur. Systems integration eliminates the need for manual data entry because the system updates automatically. This approach frees up time, allowing your employees to concentrate their efforts on core business matters. Integrated IT systems improve cross-department collaboration and make your internal teams highly productive at work.
Makes scaling easier
Without an integrated system, businesses may struggle to keep up with technological advancements in their respective sectors. Having separate computing and storage systems for each department may be costly to manage as your business grows. As your operations grow, you will need to boost the capacities of each system independently to accommodate the increased data volumes.
An integrated system capitalizes on shared resources and is easier to scale whenever your computing or storage needs change. Many of today's system integration solutions rely on cloud services due to the ease of scalability. Rather than updating each component of your IT system independently, all you need to do is request additional computing resources from the cloud service provider.
Enhanced data security
System integration brings with it data centralization and improved information management. Achieving a high level of data security can be challenging when you have to monitor multiple systems. Though there's still a risk of a data breach with a centralized management system, the threat of data loss diminishes when you employ robust security algorithms.
Even though the information is held in a central repository, access, and editing rights are much easier to handle in an integrated system than when data is spread across multiple platforms.
Selecting the ideal systems integrator
Choosing the right integration partner is one of the most critical decisions you can make for your business. With hundreds and potentially thousands of companies offering integration services, finding an ideal solution that addresses your business pain points can be overwhelming.
Furthermore, system integrators differ widely in terms of the technologies they employ and how they achieve integration. So, what factors should you evaluate when vetting digital transformation decisions? Here are the top factors to consider when seeking digital transformation through systems integration.
1. Technologies in use
Before hiring a system integration technician, it is critical to thoroughly assess the existing technologies in use by your business and industry. The survey exercise should be the first step of the systems integration process to guarantee the relevance and efficiency of digital systems. A technology survey will reveal the current state of your integration systems, gaps, and best approaches to ensure seamless process integration.
2. Technical expertise
After understanding the IT needs of your business, you'll need to find a reliable systems integration company with deep experience in your business domain. A great way to assess a technician's credentials and expertise is through their success stories. The technician should have a solid understanding of key pain points in your business and how to address them.
3. Integration methodology
Your system integrator of choice should have tried and tested approaches for implementing simple and complex methodologies that apply to your industry. The technician should present evidence of their methodology's success in similar projects. They should share process metrics of comparable projects to show their implementation approaches' success rate and efficiencies.
Stability is a critical factor in assessing the suitability of a technician's integration methodology. Choose integrators with methodologies that can handle future enhancements with ease.
4. Quality of integration tools
When selecting a systems integration specialist, it helps to consider their capabilities with the best integration tools in your industry. If possible, request test workshops with different IT specialists where they can demonstrate their capabilities with tools relevant to your proposed project. Go with an integration technician who understands the pros and cons of each productivity tool and can demonstrate how the tool addresses a specific business need.
5. System maintenance and knowledge transfer
A system integrator's job doesn't end after deploying a business solution. The IT specialist's involvement extends beyond the implementation and may involve knowledge transfer and the occasional system maintenance. Your IT vendor should have a solid plan for sharing their expertise with your internal teams.
A good knowledge transfer plan will explain the system architecture in place, the underlying programming principles, and troubleshooting tips. It helps to work with integrators that commit to training your internal teams on key aspects of running and maintaining your systems.
IT integration streamlines data management and handling by providing a centralized operating model that is easy to scale and secure. Integrating your internal systems on the cloud helps improve information collection and dissemination, making your organization more competitive and efficient.