The global system integration market value was approximately $353.4 billion in 2022 and is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 13.8% between 2023 and 2030. The tremendous growth comes as more and more organisations, government agencies, and other industry specialists realise the benefits of system integration services for enhanced IT infrastructure.
Still, some organisations have not leveraged system integration advantages due to misinformation. This guide explains everything about system integration services to help you make informed choices.
System integration solutions involve combining virtual and physical components of a business IT environment into a single, cohesive system. Physical components include servers, networks, and hardware, while virtual components include software applications, cloud services, and databases.
The primary goal of system integration services is to offer connectivity that lets you overcome any hardware and software services, eliminating downtime.
System integration ensures smoother IT operations with digital transformation and automation. The solution allows you to leverage IT resources to their full potential while complementing existing systems and processes.
Furthermore, system integration allows you to connect front-desk applications, websites, and mobile apps to back-end systems that help you manage customer data. And you can take advantage of the latest technologies in advanced analytics, automation, and cloud services.
System integration services leverage technologies such as Enterprise Application Integration (EAI), Cloud Integration, Business Process Integration (BPI), Middleware Development, Legacy System Integration, Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA), and System-to-System integration. Here is a comprehensive list of the types of system integration services.
EAI is a help-based technology that seamlessly integrates all applications. The goal is to create a uniform way for all systems to interact with each other and share information within an organisation.
For instance, you can combine accounting and human resource management software to automate processes. You may also create a single interface for sales force automation, customer relationship management (CRM), and inventory management systems.
Depending on your sector and goals, system integration can be data-oriented. This type allows you to integrate or consolidate data from multiple sources into a single platform.
Data integration is, therefore, a perfect solution to create a data aggregate from multiple databases to enhance interactive reporting and easier business management. Accessing data from multiple channels (for free) is both time and money-saving.
The cloud is a great way to store and protect data from hardware, software, and service failure. Cloud integration services allow you to combine your business' internal resources with the cloud storage system, which enhances scalability and increases security.
Furthermore, cloud integration can aid in developing applications, databases, and websites such as e-commerce stores, customer portals, and other web-based applications. This benefit offers flexibility in integrating multiple systems into the cloud storage system.
If you have outdated tools and systems developed on older technologies, legacy integration allows you to connect these with modern systems.
Legacy integration helps bridge the gap between new and old IT infrastructure, making accessing data stored on outdated systems easier. For example, some systems may be old but irreplaceable due to their intricate information architecture. In that case, you can modernise the legacy systems by establishing communication between them and new systems.
Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) are communication protocols that allow two or more software applications to share resources such as data, functions, commands, and events.
API development services help you create interfaces seamlessly integrating with other platforms. Integrating APIs can enable your business to access third-party services without compromising security or performance.
Business-to-business (B2B) integration streamlines transactions and document exchange between companies. The integration boosts efficient cooperation between suppliers, customers, and other external partners.
For example, you can connect the supplier's ERP system to a retailer's system to reduce order processing time.
With the Internet of Things (IoT), companies connect physical devices and systems, such as sensors, controllers, and IoT gateways. The integration aims to enable automation and improve the way devices interact with each other.
For example, you can integrate product sensors into an IT system to alert stakeholders of malfunctions or risks requiring attention.
Electronic Document Interchange (EDI) is an EDI system allowing organisations to transfer data securely in a standardised format. The integration of this system automates the exchange and processing of documents such as invoices, purchase orders, and delivery notes.
Integrating EDI ensures your stakeholders access critical information quickly and accurately. It also helps you maintain a paperless environment with real-time visibility throughout the organisation.
The critical role of all the above system integration services is increased efficiency. But with the correct integration approach, you can expect to enjoy these perks.
Increased efficiency means completing more projects with fewer resources, thus boosting productivity. Also, with automation, team members don't need to handle tedious tasks manually, allowing them to focus on core activities.
These benefits translate to lesser time spent and high productivity, leading to increased profitability.
Additionally, system integration reduces the cost of keeping up with different systems. Each system requires a different kind of support and maintenance. By connecting systems, you can spend less on support, and more on other areas as all resources are consolidated.
Integrating different systems allows customers to access customer service faster since their information is readily available. Additionally, customers enjoy a better user experience since the consumers can access multiple services from different systems through a single platform.
When customers are satisfied, you will enjoy high loyalty, increased revenue, and a better brand reputation.
By integrating systems, you can track data to gain real-time insights into organisational performance. In return, you can make informed decisions quickly, keeping you ahead of the competition.
Also, system integration makes it easier for organisations to manage data and track internal processes. This perk will help ensure that all employees comply with company policies and procedures.
Despite the numerous perks of system integration projects, the process can be challenging. Studies in 2018 showed that about 70% of integration projects failed to achieve the set goals. Here are some common challenges you may face when working on system integration projects.
Silos are a significant setback when it comes to system integration projects. It is difficult to get a holistic view of the organisation if different departments collect and use data in their sub-systems.
Therefore, while silos are essential to maintain data integrity, it is vital to ensure that data can be accessed throughout the organisation. This tip will help facilitate the integration process and allow stakeholders to access real-time information from one platform.
If different teams are responsible for various sub-systems, it can be challenging to determine who is accountable when something goes wrong. A complete business features numerous stakeholders, from system owners to vendors, and each must take ownership of the integration project.
In this case, if something goes wrong, it will be a case of fingerpointing. To avoid this, ensure everyone is well aware of their role in the project and hold them accountable for any mistakes or challenges to ensure the integration process runs smoothly.
System integrations require a lot of time and effort. But, the challenge with these projects is that systems are constantly changing, often leading to regular updates in the integration process.
For example, if you take too much time to integrate systems, the process might become obsolete when new technology arrives.
The key to avoiding this is incorporating agile technology and creating an infrastructure that can easily accommodate these changes. Also, hire a team well-versed in the latest technologies to facilitate timely integration.
Integration projects are complex and require a lot of resources, such as skilled personnel and the latest technology. Also, it would help to have adequate funds, skills, and equipment before beginning the project.
Without proper planning, the project may be stalled due to inadequate resources or unexpected costs. Therefore, it is essential to devise a strategy that adequately covers all aspects of the integration process before getting into it.
Legacy systems are usually outdated and may lack the capacity to integrate with new systems. Although it is possible to update legacy systems, doing so can be expensive and time-consuming. This issue can be a significant challenge, primarily when operating on a tight budget.
The primary role of a system integrator is to create a bridge between various scattered systems, allowing them to communicate and exchange data. These service providers understand the complexities of system integration projects and can provide end-to-end solutions that help organisations achieve their goals.
You can easily count on the experts to plan, install, configure, and test systems. Also, the service providers handle computer maintenance to ensure the systems are up and running.
In addition, the system integration service provider can develop customised software solutions that can be easily integrated into existing systems. This solution is handy for organisations with legacy systems.
Before searching for a service provider, understand your business goals and objectives, then determine how your system can align with those goals. This step lets you identify the features you must have for smooth operation.
It’s recommendable that you consult an experienced vendor to help you understand your system requirements. The specialist will access your IT ecosystem and perform a software audit to identify the needed features.
It would help to involve staff from different departments in defining requirements, as everyone brings different perspectives.
Integration projects are complex, so you need someone with adequate technical knowledge. Look for a service provider with experience and expertise in similar projects.
You can determine experience by asking questions. Ask the provider how long they have been in the business and their portfolio.
There are different types of software development services, each with distinct characteristics and credential requirements. Before hiring a service provider, confirm their accreditations to ensure they have the certifications for your project.
For example, if you need a provider versed in service-oriented architecture (SOA) and message queuing systems, ensure they have the necessary credentials.
Reputation plays a significant role in the selection process. Reading customer reviews can help determine if the service provider is reliable and reputable.
Also, check their website rating to get an overview of their services from independent third-party reviewers. This information will give you confidence in your decision.
Organisations of all sizes use system integration services to meet their business objectives. Here is an example of successful system integration.
Christie Lites, an equipment rental company in the US, needed to find a way to advance its software and automate operations to remain competitive during the pandemic slowdown. The client required help with building a roadmap for its software products, so it sought out an external vendor that could provide this service.
Christie Lites found the perfect partner in ELEKS, a US-based software development company with offshore capabilities. The product designers, business analysts, tech experts, and project managers examined the client’s product strategy and created a roadmap for success through software development. Within four months, two new products were designed, including a mobile warehouse application with a barcode scanner attachment and a web interface for an ERP.
The newly implemented software products increased efficiency dramatically, allowing Christie Lites to explore new business streams. With the mobile app for freelance technicians, the client has seen a massive leap in efficiency and can provide increased value for these professionals. Moreover, the company has started exploring the software market as a new revenue stream by sharing this app as a SaaS product with other players in the equipment rental industry.
Things keep changing; you can expect the same from system integration services. Here are some emerging trends you should watch out for in 2023 and beyond.
AI and machine learning technologies are making it easier to automate redundant tasks, allowing businesses to focus on more value-adding activities. Automation also helps enhance system performance and agility in response times.
IoT-enabled devices are becoming increasingly popular due to their data collection and transmission ability. IoT system integration services are set to become even more critical as they help connect traditional systems with IoT devices.
Universal APIs will help businesses collect data from various sources and enable system integration services. These APIs also help connect legacy systems to modern applications, making it easier for organisations to move data between systems.
System integration services are continually evolving to meet the needs of modern businesses. The services are becoming more sophisticated, and companies can expect more automation and higher data exchange rates in the future.
Businesses can easily integrate their systems, allowing them to focus on other areas such as product development, customer service, and innovation. The integration services will help businesses become agile, reduce costs and eliminate operational disruptions while boosting efficiency.
System integration will enable organisations to optimise processes, increase collaboration, and improve security. But you must choose the right provider to ensure seamless system integration.
The breadth of knowledge and understanding that ELEKS has within its walls allows us to leverage that expertise to make superior deliverables for our customers. When you work with ELEKS, you are working with the top 1% of the aptitude and engineering excellence of the whole country.
Right from the start, we really liked ELEKS’ commitment and engagement. They came to us with their best people to try to understand our context, our business idea, and developed the first prototype with us. They were very professional and very customer oriented. I think, without ELEKS it probably would not have been possible to have such a successful product in such a short period of time.
ELEKS has been involved in the development of a number of our consumer-facing websites and mobile applications that allow our customers to easily track their shipments, get the information they need as well as stay in touch with us. We’ve appreciated the level of ELEKS’ expertise, responsiveness and attention to details.