What are Enterprise Application Integrations?
Enterprise Application Integration is the process of connecting the organisation’s systems and software. Integrations enable the flow of data from one program/application to another, providing new interfaces (e.g. APIs) and the ability to manage and derive value from the data within the organization.
EAIs bring a range of addtional value to the organisation as illustrated by the examples provided below.
Without EAI, the flow of information between departments is often manual and labor intensive. When the operations department need to see a sales report to forecast workload, the Sales team need to spend time collating the information required from across multiple systems. For some organizations, the process of sharing information is just ‘the cost of doing business’, one that is an administrative burden.
EAI enables the flow of information between the core systems of the organization or external software platforms. It enables the consolidation of data and the sharing of this information with greater ease and speed to a wider audience. This translates to cost savings as departments can see the data that they need when they need it.
EAI streamlines the process of synchronizing and moving data between the software platforms used by the organization. In addition, EAI can offer workflow automations that rely on system information. This minimizes the need for; manual extraction of data from a given platform, manual workflows that are repetitive in nature, and further upload or sharing of that information. With faster transfer and processing of information from around the organization, business units can access and make decisions on that information quicker. This leads to better decision making as it’s no longer necessary to wait days for the data to be processed; it is available upon request.
Improved User Experience
Enterprise Integrations can eliminate the need for multiple data entry in addition to providing a range of other user experience benefits. As data is entered into one software package, it can be quickly replicated or transformed for entry into another. Since many departments use different software tools, this means having the information you need directly in the platform where it is needed, leading to higher quality data. Data quality issues can be a significant issue for companies which are striving to understand their customer, or other performance metrics. If there is conflicting data in different systems, this can lead to poor decision making. EAI can eliminate this by ensuring that one platform is the single source of truth for a given type or class of data, allowing all other systems to replicate from the trusted source. This reduces the need for checking the validity of data before use and drives operational efficiencies on multiple fronts.
New opportunities can be derived from timely insights based on the data stored across an organization’s systems. This is enabled through EAI as data readily flows between platforms without human intervention. As customer data is updated in a CRM, this is made available to an ERP platform which can be used to plan for and manage projects. When all systems are connected it enables an organization to easily drill down from a strategic view of the organization to a tactical view which can support fine tuning of business operations. With EAI, the time to generate insights is significantly reduced when combined with modern Business Intelligence solutions.