Whether in relation to organising tasks, managing documents or optimizing communications, adding software integrations into your software stack can radically alter your business. From improving productivity to streamlining your organizational structures, integrations may well challenge the ways your company currently does work.
In this article, the WNDYR team takes a deeper dive into the world of integrations; what they are and the ways they’ll help humans in their journey across the 5 layers of work.
Why teams need integrations
As consultants, we’ve seen that specific teams within a single organization often use different tools and software to complete work. While the siloing effect of these multiple platforms has become apparent to many, the solution as to how to combine these into a single effective domain has not.
For the WNDYR team, the solution comes from our understanding of how teams move across the 5 layers of digital transformation. In order to be more productive and successful, all applications, tools and platforms these teams use need to successfully communicate and interface with one another – in other words, integrations!
In a nutshell, integration is the process of linking together different computing systems and software applications to work side by side as one. Its primary goal is to automate business processes, increase employee productivity and improve interdepartmental co-operation.
Let’s consider a daily, in-your-pocket example. Prior to integrations, you might have received an email with a meeting date request. Back then, you needed to manually add the meeting to your calendar and send an email, informing the other party that you can make the suggested meeting time. With integrations, you’d simply receive a meeting request which would then automatically be added to your calendar along with any further notifications should anything else change. This is an example of how integrations assist with streamlining meetings.
With integrations already playing a part of our everyday lives, it makes sense that integrations in business would add vital value to streamlining productivity. Companies that invest in system integration can increase efficiencies by automating business processes and avoid the minefields of incorrect or missing data and wasted time.
How integrations can assist
Firstly, integrations help teams work more collaboratively, even across departments. Even in the instance where teams make use of different systems, integrations can enable your teams to report on all aspects at once. This interconnection ensures your data is in one place and not divided across your business.
Secondly, integrations can deliver a better understanding of how departments function within organizations. In order to implement a successful integration, every team and department will need to identify their objectives and agree on a process that will benefit all teams involved. Remember, teams must find a shared approach of working together as integrations only link the software – a common goal must exist to ensure success.
Thirdly, integrations can further enable improved immediacy and accuracy. For example, a task could be assigned by a project manager using one platform to the company’s dev team who use another tool. The integration can then sync it to the development team’s data straight away, without the need to manually adjust and consolidate the details.
Lastly, the most appealing benefit of using integrations is that they save you time. Successful integration liberates teams from many manual and repetitive tasks. With integrations threading different areas of work together, the organizational focus can be shifted away from repetitive “multi-tasking” to higher-value work.
Adding integrations to your stack
Luckily, adding integration solutions is easier than ever. Many leading SaaS platforms offer off-the-shelf integration solutions which allow platforms to communicate and work alongside each other.
However, should you require it, a consultancy like WNDYR can build a specifically customized integration for your team’s specific requirements.
Considering off-the-shelf integrations: pros and cons
Looking at the benefits of off-the-shelf integrations, we firstly see that they are usually cheaper as they often tend to be included in your SaaS package. Secondly, off-the-shelf integrations may also be faster to implement since the API pairing already exists.
One area to be mindful about, however, is researching the pre-existing integrations your platform supports. If your team happens to make use of a platform whose integration is unsupported, you will have to go for a customized integration.
Finally, ensure your organization doesn’t become too reliant on that specific integrations, as platform support can change due to obsolescence or no longer meeting API service requirements.
Considering custom integrations
While pre-existing off-the-shelf solutions can be helpful, it’s worthwhile to take a closer look at the benefits of custom integrations. Firstly, although they can cost more, custom integrations often deliver significant additional value due to their ability to work exactly as required to your organizational needs.
Secondly, it’s important to consider that while the setup and implementation may take longer, your custom integration will be developed by a dedicated team that are accountable to their clients. While an off-the-shelf integration is often an afterthought by SaaS companies, a WNDYR integration solution consultant’s primary and sole focus is to develop and deliver your perfect integration solution. Furthermore, customers can expect continued support to their integration as well.
Finally, it’s likely that your team will require additional training to effectively use the integration. When handled by a WNDYR integration consultant, this training can deliver added clarity around your organizational goals and build towards long term success.
Integrations should be magic and not rocket science
With each organization working with its own ecosystems and manner of doing work, developing a personalized integration strategy is extremely beneficial.
The WNDYR team advises our clients to dedicate time to research their organizational goals before finding a partnership that can navigate you through more than one aspect of the digital journey.
If your team is inspired to make integration part of your digital journey and you’d like more information around system integration, get in touch with our partner managers Alex and Michael to find out more.