Many organizations are turning towards intelligent automation to streamline, measure and automate workflows. The global system integration market grew at a CAGR of around 9% during 2014-2019 (Source). The market is predicted to grow even larger. (You can find the full report here). With pandemic, the need for efficiency has been recognized by many organizations. In the next decade, all the focus would be to optimize the existing processes to better efficiency.
While many of us know what integration is, there are still many doubts in the market about application integration. This blog post will clear all your doubts.
- What is Application Integration?
- 7 Benefits of Enterprise Application Integration (EAI)
- The Difference between Application integration and Data Integration
- 6 Steps to Enterprise Application Integration
- Application Integration is the Way
So let’s get started….
What is Application Integration?
Application integration is a process of automating the collaboration of different moving parts involved in a business process. Business activities are complex processes and it involves a ton of applications. Application integration helps you integrate these applications and create a workflow that is customized to your requirements.
Enabling independently designed applications to integrate together will take your marketing automation to a new level. Providing access to data and functionality from differently designed applications from what appears to be a single-window interface.
7 Benefits of Enterprise Application Integration (EAI)
Enterprise application automation represents a new set of paradigm in the use of enterprise technologies. Small, medium and large scale enterprises use it to facilitate the collaboration of differently designed apps effectively.
Now there are benefits of enterprise application integration that many try to point out. From streamlining to simplifying the complex business process, application integration can do it all.
The benefits range from eliminating repetitive tasks through thorough optimization of processes and even lowering down the operation of costs. We’ve picked a few of the benefits for you.
1. Control and Connection of Your Company
The enterprise application integration is a wonderful way of having control and connection over your company. Each department has several sub-sections operating different applications. Application integration connects these differently designed apps and streamlines their mechanism. This will improve your information management and have complete control and connection of different departments.
When you occupy a higher position in your company, the entire network from software developers to business administrators.
2. Simplify Business Process
With a low-code platform, the enterprise application integration stands out in streamlining and simplifying the business process. It does not matter if the IT structure is complex, the API’s involved in the process can help anyone integrate the applications without the need for IT engineers.
3. Reduced Cost and Investment
The implementation of enterprise application integration also leads to cost reduction within the company. One example would be how data extraction and transfer could easily happen between different applications without any need for third-party tools. The application integration framework will take care of everything.
Thanks to application integration, we can now create new products and services catering to the market. In the long run, it is an additional source of revenue for the company.
4. Encourages Information Exchange
When different parts of an organization are connected with application integration, the information exchange between departments becomes easy.
Communication becomes easier. Problems like data silos and data duplication are eliminated. The structure of the information is accurate.
5. Lowers Time and Efforts
Application integration makes your employee job easy and error-free. It reduces the time and efforts for particular tasks.
Enterprise application integration allows tasks that extend for a long period to be cut down. This allows your team to focus on tasks that are actually important to increase your business revenue.
6. Increased Opportunities
If you are the first ones to implement application integration in your niche, you get a competitive advantage over other businesses.
It opens up new opportunities for your business and technology leaders. Also, a team with poor IT infrastructure will have low productivity in the market.
With application integration, you improve your ability of problem-solving. If you portray your company as someone who believes to work with efficiency, you can easily become business leaders.
7. Easy Adaption to Advanced Process
Application integration allows you to follow business models unique to the market. It helps you innovate.
The integration happens regardless of the complexity of the applications. With EAI it is much easier to track and analyze them to understand how they work and how to control them.
The application integration can adapt to any process and hence can help the companies all the times even with changing conditions.
The Difference between Application integration and Data Integration
Data integration grew out of the regional database and the need to transfer the data between them. Data integration deals with data at rest. Meaning the activity which produced that data is already complete.
Application integration on the other hand deals with live operational data in real-time. An event is Triggered that enriches the data in subsequent applications.
6 Steps to Enterprise Application Integration
Enterprise application simplifies your business process but needs a series of steps to be implemented successfully. Major concern across businesses is that they do not have the right guidance to implement the application integration project. Here are the 12 steps you could follow for a successful Enterprise application integration in your business.
The following activities aren’t the only ones you should be considering while carrying out the application integration. But they are the most important ones. The points mentioned below come from the practical experience of implementing enterprise application integration projects.
1. Understand the Core Problem
You’ll have to work with different departments and understand the problems at their core level. You’ll have different applications being used in each section and hence your integration requirements may vary accordingly. This is a basic problem gathering step, you’ll require people who can research and gather accurate information. This will allow you to define the problem correctly and implement enterprise application integration.
2. Make Sense of Data
Most application integration projects exist on a data level. Meaning it helps businesses to streamline their data gathering process. The data is scattered all over before integration. The planning stage of enterprise application integration involves which data should be connected and why.
3. Make Sense of the Business Processes
Once you identify the data, you need to define the processes in your organization. Based on this model you can integrate different applications based on your requirements. Your approach will depend on how you carry out the business process as an organization.
4. Identify the Business Events
When something happens – business event- there is a resulting action. Example, a new employee is onboarded and their name is added into the communication system. This represents an event. You may want to capture this event and trigger a series of actions. Here it means that the employee ids are created automatically within different systems and the management is notified about the new employee.
So in an attempt to understand the application integration process, you need to define the events that need to be triggered. Once you know the events, you can integrate the applications associated with it.
5. Identify Data Transformation Scenarios
Once you understand the data and the applications involved in the process, you can start thinking about data will be transformed within these applications. This is important since the data format in one application may not make sense with different applications. Second, it will assure the maintenance of consistent data formats.
6. Apply Technology
You’ve got a wide range of technologies at your disposal. The choice of integration will likely be a mix of products and vendors that come together.
The time it takes to pick up the right technology can be daunting but it is still better than the alternative of picking the wrong one.
You’ll need experienced people while handling these projects. Make sure you do your research before getting into it.
Application Integration is the Way
The future of integration is application-centric, Meaning that organizations will want to have control over the applications they use through one single interface. With our business processes getting highly application-dependant, the collaboration of these platforms is necessary. Furthermore, it won’t feel like integration. The application integration process is so smooth and streamlined that it doesn’t feel like integration.