Many organizations would like to use one source system for all their data, so that no manual work has to be done to have the data available in other systems. This not only concerns data within the organization itself, but also information from the cloud and from third parties (think of suppliers, logistics parties, market places, etc.).

However, it is often not standard possible to get all data in one system and this is not necessary.

It is about having the right data available, in the right system, at the right time. This can also be useful for audits, for example.

When linking systems, it is wise to take a number of things into account.

Integrate everything?

Don’t just link everything. When organizations consider application links, they often feel that all systems must be linked. However, it is wise to first check whether (time) gain is achieved by linking the systems.
Profit can only be made when there is a high degree of mutation of the data, for static information an annual import is perhaps much cheaper than an automated link. So only make a link if fast availability and accuracy of data plays a role. If changes have to be implemented in a timely manner, for example because of productivity or security, then a real-time application link is necessary.
Consider, for example, product and price information that must always be up-to-date in the MDM system, ERP system, the webshop and on marketplaces.
Or think of a new employee who is hired. By means of a link between the HR system, card system and network, it can be ensured that network and physical access are enabled at the touch of a button.

Authorization

Find out how authorizations are granted. For example, by linking information about the role and function of an employee from the HR system, it is also possible to automatically grant employees authorizations within applications.

This way you ensure that you always comply with privacy legislation.

Input and output

 

Check whether the application with which you want to link can only receive information or can also send information. If you want to work with an Enterprise Service Bus (ESB), it is important that the ESB is informed of which change has taken place. If an application cannot provide this information, a solution must be found.

Using an Identity & Access Management system as an intermediate layer could be an option. Another option is to set up the ESB in such a way that it regularly retrieves information from the application. The time interval for this can be predefined.

Reliability source file

Perhaps obvious, but of course it only makes sense to retrieve data from a source file that generates reliable data in order to prevent contamination of other systems and applications.

Standards

A well-known saying in IT is: The special thing about standards is that there are so many.

Many systems and applications communicate in their own language. With data integration, it is important to ensure that the data is delivered in the correct standard in the application in which you want to use it. A good ESB solution offers opportunities for transformation

Costs

Many application suppliers offer to organize the integration between their system and that of the customer. These are often expensive processes and after completion of the project as an organization you have an enormous number of points of contact for all the applications and systems used.

If you want to link multiple systems as an organization, it is probably cheaper and more efficient to use an independent integration partner.

Conclusion

When you have business-critical information that must be continuously up-to-date, it is advisable to link the data from various systems so that you always work with the most accurate data. When you also take the above points into account in your consideration, nothing stands in the way of seamless integration.