On average, we work with four different applications. In fact, the public sector workers work with an average of nine different applications, according to research by an IT company Ictivity made February. And so the need to make data exchange between different applications sounds easier.
Employees experience inconvenience from the fact that applications are not or insufficiently linked. To collect all the necessary information, employees must regularly switch between different applications. System integration or application integration may be a solution here, but how do you do that? Every organization that has been around for a number of years has the necessary applications and systems running. And over the years, legacy systems emerge. Integrating those systems with other applications without compromising control, flexibility and scalability is a challenge.
The most important thing in system integration is decoupling. Therefore, as an IT professional, do not immediately start linking two applications together, but analyse the current situation or call in an integration specialist for advice. Otherwise, you run the risk of creating a kind of spider web from knotted point-to-point links. It is precisely the uncoupling of applications from technology that is an important step towards good system or data integration. By seeing the functional layer of the application separate from the technical layer, you become more flexible in where you want to run something. It is good to strive for a Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) where you design the services based on your business processes, and not on the basis of applications that support those business processes. Otherwise, you run the risk to become dependent on the applications you use. In other words, before you know it, you're trapped in a vendor lock-in.
API oR platform
For successful system and data integration, it is important to know which systems and which data needs to be integrated. Sometimes linking applications via a backend API works fine, sometimes an (open-source) integration platform works better. It is like a garden hose that you connect to the tap via an extra adapter. If it all fits well, then the water can pass through, no water leaks and the integration is successful.
Download the free e-book: 'The 10 principles of system integration applied' by integration specialist WeAreFrank.
What is the best solution for your company depends on the applications, the people and wishes. If system integration succeeds, the big advantage is that certain business processes or systems function faster and more efficiently. That way, working with four or nine different applications at work is no longer a stumbling block.