Effective decisions and appropriate actions result from high quality, complete information. A system built from the ground up with a single purpose (to integrate) can profoundly affect the way a business operates. Integration dissolves barriers to communication, reveals opportunities for revenue growth, and helps reduce or eliminate expenses.
A significant operational challenge lies in identifying how to help employees perform tasks better, and faster, using fewer resources. However, today’s internal systems are growing exponentially while becoming more fragmented. Extreme difficulty is developing within organizations to create a clear view of the business. A real-time view for large organizations is impossible because management only receives small bits of information from disparate systems that require business analysts to interpret. The disparate systems must connect to create a complete business view. A business does not effectively operate without the facts that represent a true understanding of the business and its challenges.
An important determination often overlooked when a company adopts a new system is “will the system play well with others.” Too frequently, a new system does not play well with existing systems, which is why integration should be a vital part of any IT strategy. To enable a company to run like a well-oiled machine, the parts must move in complement. When one part moves, the other parts should produce complementary reactions.
Large organizations usually suffer from departments operating as silos instead of functioning in information-sharing, reciprocal ways that benefit the entire organization. Staff invest considerable time gathering information within various departments to create reports to present to Executives. The information gathering process is time consuming, prone to errors, and often information is outdated by the time Executives are informed. Consequently, management will make decisions based on guess-estimates, and gut feelings instead of real time facts.
Don’t leave system integration out of your management strategy. Yes, system integration is IT focused. Nevertheless, a clear understanding of an entire organization is only possible when system integration is considered a vital component of business process effectiveness.