With any big project comes lots of questions. Who? What? When? Where? Why? How? And when it comes to application integration, there are an endless amount of questions coming from pretty much anyone involved. Some questions are more important than others. Let’s take a look at the key questions you need to be able to answer before your next application integration project.
What’s the biggest pain point?
In any company that requires application integration, oftentimes, the biggest pain point is there is so much data in so many places and none of it talks to each other. When considering the biggest pain point, think about what the two or three most important applications are. What information do you absolutely need in your reports?
Once you’ve decided what the biggest pain points are, communicate them to your application integration team in advance. It’s more important to speak up in the beginning than to wait until the end, and find out something didn’t integrate the way you wanted it too.
Who will be affected most?
Application integration often brings numerous company teams together.. When done correctly, it gets everyone on the same page and makes communication easier. However, when key people aren’t considered, it can just make things messier, and further divide departments within the company.
Whether it’d be bringing marketing and sales together, accounting and IT, it’s important to have everyone who is involved involved from start to finish. Application integration can take some legwork up front, but it certainly pays off in the end.
Where will the data live and how can it be accessed?
This is a question to ask your IT team ahead of time. Find out where this data will live, but also find out how it can be accessed when needed. Application integration should make things easier, not harder. When consulting with your application integration team, ask how you will be able to automate what you need automated and how to access it manually if you have to.
What systems are you planning on integrating?
Another question to ask ahead of time is what sort of systems do you need to integrate? Are you integrating a CRM, quickbooks, and another homegrown report or spreadsheet? Once you decide what will be integrated, communicate that information with your application integration team to make sure expectations are set and it can be delivered successfully.
Who will manage your new system moving forward?
If you’re hiring an outside company to handle your application integration, they can build it and set it all up. However, there are two more things to consider:
- Who will manage the new system moving forward?
- Who will be your internal champion?
Knowing these two things allow you to keep a clear line of communication when issues arise.