In 2022, most businesses are fully immersed in the process of digital transformation. Software tools have indeed done a great job simplifying everyday tasks, such as those related to communications and productivity.
However, things can easily get out of control. A 2021 study shows that the average company uses between 40 and 60 different software tools, and
large enterprises can use hundreds of them.
Maintaining and running multiple software programs can be time-consuming and could even be counter-productive if tools aren’t strategically integrated. In this article, SmartOffice has explained why software integration is a must.
11 Reasons why you should integrate software
The benefits of integrating software can be classified into 4 areas:
- Process improvement
- Better data management
- Improved security
1. Increased productivity
When software tools aren’t integrated, business processes often become fragmented. This can have a direct impact on productivity since employees need to switch between platforms multiple times a day or to accomplish a single task.
You can never underestimate the negative impact of constant interruptions. A study found that every time a task gets interrupted, employees need 30 minutes to get focused again.
2. Better team cohesion
Lack of tech integration can favor the appearance of silos and cause poor communication between teams and departments. We now know that silos are one of the biggest enemies of organizational efficiency, as they affect everything from morale to productivity.
A survey revealed that more than 85% of workers and executives agree that poor communication and weak collaboration are the main reasons behind workplace failures.
If you want more efficient business processes, all your staff needs to be on the same page, which simply isn’t possible when software isn’t integrated.
Investing in software integration can facilitate data sharing and make communication and collaboration smoother.
3. Agile and scalable processes
Modern businesses simply can’t survive without process agility and scalability. Unstable workloads and changing market conditions highlight the need to choose software tools that suit internal workflows, as well as the external environment.
This will allow you to offer an agile response to unexpected challenges and to shifting customer preferences.
Not only that, but integrated software will be a pivotal source of support whenever you need to create new systems and processes as you grow or downsize.
Better data management
4. Lower the risk of error
When software tools aren’t integrated, your team is more likely to duplicate work or make mistakes. This is especially critical if your company has embraced remote or hybrid work.
Lack of software integration can make it very hard for remote workers to get the job done. Think about all that data scattered across different apps or programs!
You should also bear in mind that this environment is conducive to frustration. Fragmented data and processes put an extra burden on staff, which only increases the risk of error.
5. Outstanding customer support
Scattered and disconnected customer data is often behind poor retention rates and frequent complaints. On the other hand, companies that integrate their core software applications can deliver a faster and more personalized response to customer inquiries.
Expert integration can help businesses gain insights into crucial customer needs and expectations. Having a global but granular view of customer data can also reveal which areas need improvement to deliver outstanding customer service.
6. Smooth data flows
When software isn’t integrated, the staff relies on manual processes to access or transfer data between programs and applications. This creates barriers to smooth data flows and increases the risk of being affected by data-related inefficiencies.
Integrated software supports smooth data flows within and between departments. When this becomes the norm, your business is better positioned to uncover inefficiencies, reveal opportunities, and improve sales.
7. Better business intelligence
Poor software integration often results in incomplete or inaccurate data. This can complicate decision-making or even lead to decisions that negatively affect business outcomes.
Bad data costs US businesses millions of dollars every year. This is due to the problems that poor-quality data causes in terms of compliance, efficiency, and overall revenue.
On the other hand, integrated data facilitates insights that drive growth and allows your business to move forward thanks to solid decision-making.
8. Improved compliance
When your data comes from different sources and is handled using multiple software tools, compliance with data protection regulations can be problematic.
The risks associated with this are too significant to be ignored. Non-compliance with privacy laws can result in fines and reputation damage.
Regulations around data collection and handling are expected to become more strict. You can prepare your business by consolidating your data management practices with the help of integrated software.
9. Simplified systems security
Technology adoption can be a double-edged sword: it can simplify business processes, but it can also expose your company to security breaches, especially in remote work. This is more likely if your software tools aren’t integrated, as it becomes harder to keep track of all maintenance requirements.
Strategically integrated software reduces the workload for IT staff, so they can focus on keeping your tech apps functional and reduce vulnerabilities.
10. Reduced labor costs
The more software you use, the more time-consuming maintenance will be, which is reflected in higher IT costs. This applies whether you have an in-house IT team or have outsourced this task.
A study on global IT spending found that labor and outsourcing costs account for 36% of all IT expenses – almost on par with the costs of the actual software.
Integrating core software functions could help reduce unnecessary labor costs, improve your cash flow, and liberate resources you can use to grow your business.
11. Peace of mind!
The last benefit of software integration is peace of mind. You can’t put a price tag on the feeling of knowing that your tech tools support top performance in key areas, like scheduling, communicating, customer service, and security.
Strategically integrating software tools can avoid overwhelming internal resources and give you peace of mind. Other benefits include process improvement, better data management, enhanced security, and cost-effectiveness.
2020 data show that only a third of businesses have integrated their core software tools. This means that software integration is an excellent opportunity to differentiate your company and stay ahead of competitors.