Even small to medium companies are finding themselves in need to use more than one technical solution when doing business. Unfortunately, this slows down progress, mainly if the technology does not talk to each other. The IT department is then faced with the decision to either attempt to find a new system that will meet all their needs or start an IT system integration. Many companies may not attempt this process because of the risk of it failing. So why do integrations fail so often?
1. The person performing the integration does not understand your business.
This is not necessarily the fault of the IT department or software developers. A business analyst not only needs to understand the IT needs and communicate it well to the integration team.
2. The integration isn’t in real time.
Some integrations require that the information is pulled or pushed to/from another system. If the data collection is done in real time, accurate business decisions can be made. Pay attention to the frequency of data integration between the systems.
3. The leadership assumes that a plug and play integration will work fine for their company.
Some pre-configured solutions may work well, but even minimum customizations may throw a wrench in the works. This is why doing your homework is so important. Make sure that your integration tool is flexible enough to meet your company’s needs.
4. The system integration isn’t tested with real data.
The IT engineers may see that the two systems are talking with each other, but are they sharing data appropriately? Maybe the integration works between the current system and the new system, but what about the data from the old system? What happens with the customer name was entered into one field instead of two? Are you losing valuable information because the data wasn’t entered correctly in the first place? Before letting the new system loose on employees, make sure all these kinks are worked out of the system.
5. The system integration isn’t explained well to the users.
Very few people like change, especially at work. They may resent having to learn a new way of doing things, especially if they think it will make their jobs more complicated. They may also not want to share data from their department because they may feel that if everyone has access to the same data, their department may become obsolete. Train your users as to why this new system is not only helpful for your business but also a requirement for their jobs.
6. The executives and the department heads of the company do not buy into the integration process.
As a follow-up to the last point, if the leadership of the team doesn’t understand or sell the integration to their employees, chances are even the most even the savviest IT team around will have a difficult time encouraging change from their department.
7. The department performing the system integration doesn’t listen to feedback from the users of the new system.
View system integration as a work in progress. Listen to feedback from the users, the ones in the trenches who use the system every day.
Hopefully, these tips will help your system integration process go as smoothly as possible.