When you become interested in putting your company through enterprise integration, you need to have a plan. Starting your search with an idea of what you want at the end will help you find the right person and save both time and money working with them.
However, your plan doesn’t have to be elaborate. It needs to be a simple thought process that your team can walk through so that everyone is aware of the goals and what will be happening. Make sure to follow these simple steps before looking for an enterprise integration company.
When you first research enterprise integration, you need to think about exactly why you are looking into it. You’ll need to work with the many heads that control your information systems. Know the requirements of each of these systems both internal and external. Be sure to look at how each program holder does business, what can be done, what is essential, and what isn’t or can’t be done.
Since many integrations can happen at just the data level, it’s vital to check each data system you have. Be sure to gather all the data and it’s information. Look into where the data flows and who uses it both regularly and intermittently.
After taking a look at the data and problems with how it’s currently set up, you will need to look at the company overall. Look at how each department is set up and how business events affect the various programs within the company.
For example, if your company has it’s own credit card then people can sign up for it online and in stores. Think about the process that comes in to play during this business event. Another business event that might use this is monthly reporting of sales. Think about how that data is retrieved and who uses and compiles it. Go through each event in your company and think about how data and computers interact with it.
With the problem in mind, use the data, processes, and business events to create a map of the companies online and computer information. The goal here is to create a detailed list of what you need to be integrated and how each thing connects with the other.
Detailed, you are looking at how each data element or program interface is used. Take this information and look at how it is moving and where that information will ultimately end up. Eventually, you should end up with a spider web of data depending on how complex your business is.
It’s time to look at the value of your system and how flexible it should be. First, looking at the budget needs to be done with an open mind. If you have many complex systems and a large company, you should stick with what you can afford. Know realistically it might be more for a large business than someone with a few simpler systems.
Looking at the flexibility can be another pricing factor. Some types of integration are more complex and less open to change than others. If your systems are nailed down with minimal reason for change, then you don’t need a flexible system. However, if you are growing or often bring on new programs or data, a system that allows for change might be required.
Overall, if you are looking into Enterprise Integration, you need to do some advanced planning. The more planning you do, the better prepared you will be. Make sure you understand your problem and the data that it involves. Take a look at the processes and business events that are impacted by the data. Finally, create a map of all the programs and data that interact with each other. With that knowledge, you can set a realistic budget and determine how much change and flexibility your new system will need.