Businesses using software for their daily operations often face situations where they need to combine the capabilities of various software solutions to perform a fairly complex task.
For greater efficiency, an organization will have to perform some sort of software integration so as to get different processes running concurrently or in a sequence, depending on what is needed to achieve the final goal.
There are a number of methods that a business can opt for when integrating software, and we are going to take a closer look at two of them, namely; native software integration and custom software integration.
What is Native Software Integration?
With native software integration, software is designed to run on a particular platform or operating system. These kinds of software solutions can also be device-specific and may also utilize platform-specific data formats.
One of the benefits of native software integration is that the parent company of the software used usually offers support for these connections.
For instance, if you’re having problems with the functionality between HubSpot’s marketing automation and content management tools, their technical team can help get them to collaborate better.
Native software integrations are usually more cost-effective since you rarely have to incur extra charges once you’ve paid for the platform as a whole.
Native integrations are also quite straightforward and require minimal customization or extra code. This is even more likely the case if you do not have complex processes and custom objects within your marketing and sales operations.
These platforms tend to focus more on one aspect, get it right, and then build all the other elements around it. This non-holistic approach can result in a product with one excellent function and a bunch of other mediocre ones.
Businesses might find it hard to integrate with other third-party systems. For example, your billing system may be able to integrate with both your CRM software and your CMS Hub. In the same instance, your CMS and CRM may not be able to work together.
Another negative result is increased data silos, meaning that decision making becomes trickier when people with access to specific data sets don’t have the supplementary data needed to establish patterns and refine business strategies.
How about custom software integration?
This kind of integration requires a business to aggregate different (often independent and barely related) software pieces already built for individual tasks, into one singular system.
Pros and Cons
Custom software integration enables live visualization of the entire scope of business operations, since data is centralized and time-lapses from accessing numerous user interfaces are eliminated.
This type of integration can help to decrease a business’s storage and overall IT costs since it relies on a central location rather than multiple separate databases and servers.
Custom software integration enables greater productivity as different departments have easier access to the data they need, which results in increased customer satisfaction.
However, this type of integration may require a lot more coding and expertise to make the various systems work together continuously. This isn’t ideal for enterprises with limited IT staff and budgets for training employees or repeatedly outsourcing technical personnel.
To make the appropriate choice, you need to thoroughly examine your business operations and determine the indispensable software systems. You should also consider the costs of overhauling some software solutions.
Ultimately, it may come down to how necessary it is for every business process to be fully interconnected, along with any new requirements for future scaling of the business.