Businesses often put off large integration projects unless they become absolutely essential because traditionally integration needs skilled specialists to connect their infrastructure, operations, and data processes, entailing high investment and effort.
Integration projects are often driven by Merger or acquisitions – More often than not merging businesses use different business systems such as ERP, CRM , HRIS , Accounting or marketing software. It’s always an uphill task to merge the data from various systems and create one version of the truth. However, businesses realise the value of bringing all the data together and leveraging it to either expand into new markets, improve customer service and increase efficiency of internal operations.
Change in business needs and evolution of business systems – As a business grows, its needs change and systems evolve. Research shows that on average IT systems change completely every 2 to 4 years. However, migration of data from old systems to new ones isn’t always easy. It can take months to migrate the data from one system to another while ensuring strict data governance and defining common definitions of data. It is also a very expensive process to move the data manually from one system to another, often requiring specialist skills.
Siloed information across systems - Business systems are not designed to talk to each other, let alone integrate the data seamlessly. However, to enable smooth running of a business and for managers to be able to have a complete view of business performance, data from disparate systems needs to be connected.
At ABP Consultancy, we encourage clients to take on integration projects by addressing their concerns around the cost, complexity, time and effort required. Process automation technologies are a game changer for integration projects. Here’s three reasons why:
The need for speed
Process automation can be applied to accelerate a data integration project as opposed to the traditional methods of integration. The “stop, freeze and changeover times” for data extraction, transfer and loading can be significantly reduced using process automation. By configuring custom built point-to-point connections and automating the data migration the process can be completed in no time.
“ With process automation we have managed to reduce a million euro transformation to a 50k solution which had the client data synchronised, up and running in less than 2 months. This was not just a significant cost saving in migration but saved us a lot in the cost of having non-operative systems for the long duration of the manual integration process and reduced our reliance on sparingly available skills”
Cost reduction without compromise
There is no panacea for creating a connected enterprise where a mix of legacy and new age, cloud technologies all work together and data flows through them seamlessly. However, integration through automation can be achieved at fraction of the cost of traditional integrations methods where you would have had to create a project team plus a governance/quality team to ensure there aren’t any undue project over runs.
This could be replaced by automation technologies that could be used to create app-integration flows. These integration workflows are reusable and have very low margin of error. If there any exceptions, they are brought to human attention and correction. In addition using RPA digital assistants the integration process can be carried out non-stop and completed quicker. You also avoid multiple licensing fee This helps you avoid the multiple licensing fees and complexities of other approaches.
Guaranteed accuracy and safety of data
Integration or migration projects can expose businesses to data breaches or security risks. Manual migration of data requires human intervention and is prone to data handling errors and inaccuracies. On the other hand automated integration of data records can be done in confidence, in accordance with robust security and compliance guidelines.
Automated handling of data, also allows businesses to scale quickly without worrying of inaccuracies creeping up in the data.
As businesses look at their data fabric to achieve faster, trusted data across distributed or heterogeneous systems, process automation is stepping in to make this integration easier, cost -effective and in common words “do-able”. If you have been struggling with data integration challenges within your business, please feel free to reach for a free, no-obligation data integration audit.