Application integration enables individual applications, each with a specific function, to work together. Merging and optimizing data and workflows between multiple software applications allows organizations to achieve integrations that modernize infrastructure and support business functions. Integration closes the gap between on-premises and cloud-based enterprise applications. Application integration brings seamless interconnected processes and data exchanges that allow enterprises to orchestrate functions across their infrastructures for more effective and efficient operations.
What’s Application Integration?
What is application integration? It’s a fundamental process of any digital transformation strategy that enables applications to communicate by exchanging data and invoking the services they offer. When business applications are integrated, a business can better operate in innovative ways. Applications typically live in data silos where they work independently of each other within a business function. These applications are meant to execute a business process or provide insights into business performance. Independent applications can’t share information, which means business users have to manually disconnect applications and move data. This is both time-consuming and results in errors in business data.
Integration technology removes these communication barriers so that business applications can work together without the need for manual intervention. Business processes can be executed quickly and with minimal errors, and services can be combined across different applications to create a real-time view of relevant information. There are several integration technologies including an API-led approach to integration combined with event-driven architectures. Business applications can be integrated regardless of where they are deployed.
Application integration is possible between on-premises applications, cloud applications, edge devices, and online web services. The more that organizations rely on SaaS applications, the greater the need for application integration.
The Benefits of Application Integration
There are plenty of benefits that come with application integration. Integrated applications allow for the automation of business processes, saving users time and streamlining workflows. Several key processes can be automated with integration such as ordering and fulfillment, invoicing, collections, expenses, and approvals. An API-led and event-driven architecture allows a digital landscape to connect and reconnect quickly without the need for specific skills.
Business process integration results in a more engaging user experience because the power is in the hands of customers. Integration makes it easy to connect systems throughout the organization and integrate different applications within a unified experience that will boost customer loyalty and make it easy to deliver new services.
Integration technology is key to a seamless digital transformation and the transition to new technologies. Continuously exploiting new technologies like microservices allows organizations to increase speed and agility. API-led integration and event-driven architectures allow organizations to easily adopt new technologies and means for deployment.
Integration technology results in a more productive workforce. Integrated business applications are unrestricted, making it easier for all users across the business organization to access the necessary business data without the need for technical skills.
Choose the Right Integration Tool
There are a few factors to keep in mind when choosing the best application integration tool. The right integration solution accommodates a variety of integration skills. Everyone within a business organization has integration needs, and the ideal solution has interfaces suitable for all skill levels. A good application integration solution has a large number of connectors to popular applications and platforms. A solution with connectors included saves workers the time and effort of writing low-level connectivity code.
The ideal business process integration solution has a high degree of flexibility and choice of on-premises, cloud, SaaS, serverless, and edge devices. An application integration tool should integrate with applications beyond the cloud. The best integration solution includes integration with the Internet of Things (IoT) and instrumented devices.
Application integration is key for making business organizations more responsive to opportunities. It aids the seamless transition to new technologies, results in a more productive workforce, and creates a more engaging user experience.