7 Key Benefits of Business Integration

8 minute read | 01 May 2024

By Boomi

Modern companies face challenges integrating their various systems and processes to stay ahead in a competitive environment. Business integration offers a comprehensive solution to this challenge by aligning resources, standardizing data, and enhancing collaboration. Read on to discover the seven key benefits of business integration that will revolutionize your operations and drive success in the modern business world.

What Is Business Integration?

Business integration describes aligning your technology portfolio with your business strategy to unify the business and IT cultures more efficiently and effectively. While business integration was once based primarily on using Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) to exchange orders, invoices, and other business documents between stakeholders, it’s now a whole-scale digital approach that can automate, streamline, and accelerate every business process that connects your employees, customers, suppliers, and other stakeholders while also reducing costs, and leading to better decision-making.

A holistic digital approach to business integration involves leveraging technologies such as cloud computing, big data analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, Internet of Things (IoT), and application programming interfaces (APIs). All of these work together to let you automate and optimize various business processes. This can include everything from customer relationship management (CRM) to financial reporting and human resources.

Why Is Business Integration Important?

Using business integration to align IT resources with your business goals ensures that every investment in technology directly contributes to achieving strategic company objectives. Speeding up business processes and workflows becomes easier thanks to integration because it eliminates data silos and streamlines communication between departments. Synchronizing data and analytics across teams ensures reliable reporting and tracking, improving decision-making and performance evaluation. Additionally, business integration opens up new opportunities by enhancing collaboration and innovation across your organization.

7 Key Benefits of Business Integration

Business integration offers many opportunities to save money, streamline workflows, and create backend improvements that boost the customer experience. Let’s take a look at the benefits in more detail.

1. Cut Costs

Integration and automation cut costs by eliminating duplicate processes, speeding up workflows, reducing manual labor, and optimizing resource use across various departments. All of this results in increased efficiency and reduced operational expenses.

2. Increase Transparency

A central integration platform enables real-time visibility into your data along with comprehensive tracking and management across systems, including CRMs, EDIs, cloud services, and SaaS applications.

3. Streamline Operations

Complex environments are challenging to manage and often allow redundancy and inefficiency to go unnoticed. Business integration allows you to consolidate and optimize your processes to eliminate operational bottlenecks and make your business more responsive and agile.

4. Increase Security

Separate systems complicate IT security management. Business integration allows you to centralize your applications and leverage simplified but enhanced security. Standardizing security protocols across your organization improves your ability to protect sensitive information against internal threats and external cyberattacks.

5. Enhance Compliance

Integration allows you to establish a single source of truth, allowing IT teams to track data’s history, journey, and evolution. Combined with the ability to monitor which users handle the data, this ensures comprehensive control of compliance required data.

6. Improve Communication and Collaboration

Business integration streamlines communication across departments, leading to fewer emails and rapid sharing of essential information. Instant access to up-to-date and relevant data eliminates delays caused by the need to request and wait for information. With automatic acknowledgments and streamlined order tracking, the process becomes more efficient, enhancing the overall communication flow within a company.

7. Automate Workflows

Automation eliminates time-consuming tasks like manual data entry and manipulation, letting you redeploy employees to perform more value-added tasks.

World Oil Corporation used Boomi’s automated solutions to eliminate hours of manual data work by integrating its systems with end-to-end automation and real-time insights. This resulted in a more efficient operation and increased customer satisfaction.

How Do You Prepare for Business Integration?

To successfully prepare for integration, you must start by analyzing your internal workflows, auditing your technology stack, and building an integration roadmap. Here are the four areas you need to evaluate when planning how to modernize and implement your integration:

Process Identification

First, map out your current processes to identify similarities, redundancies, and gaps across departments. Next, conduct an assessment to determine which processes are most effective and aligned with your goals. Work with your teams to develop a unified model of best practices throughout the business. Finally, use integration to streamline workflows and automate tasks, which enhance efficiency and reduce operational expenses across the board.

Organizational Alignment

Analyze your organization’s culture to identify the core values and practices in every department and throughout the company. Establish integration teams to work together to align the organizational culture. Ensure integration is successful by encouraging collaboration, breaking down data silos, and establishing effective communication channels.

Strategic Integration

To create a unified and efficient business out of mergers, acquisitions, or partnerships, begin by analyzing each organization’s strategic goals. The key is to find common ground and address potential conflicts. Then, establish a clear plan for integration, detailing the steps and timelines to follow and the metrics you will use to gauge success. Continuous communication is essential for ensuring a successful and smooth integration process.

Business and Technology Architecture

Audit your IT systems and infrastructure to highlight compatibility issues, redundancies, and opportunities for consolidation. Compose your technology stack to align with your scalability, security, and cost-effectiveness goals.

Technological business integration begins by selecting an appropriate technology delivery model, such as:

  • On-premises: Software installed at your organization’s location.
  • Hosted: Software installed and hosted by a third party off-site.
  • Cloud: Software developed and maintained by a third party and delivered over the Internet.
  • Hybrid: Hybrid offers a flexible combination of approaches.

This choice depends on the scalability, flexibility, security, and cost-effectiveness you need from the integrated systems and how they will align with your organization’s goals.

For example, select tools like ERPs, APIs, and integration platforms as a service (iPaaS) to enable communication and data sharing among different software applications and facilitate centralized data management for consistency across departments.

Identify your data sources and storage locations and back it up. Prepare your data for transfer by classifying, consolidating, deduplicating, cleaning, and standardizing it. Conduct a trial run with a small data set to identify and rectify any issues before a complete transfer. Verify the integrity of your data following the transfer.

Business integration doesn’t have to be a complex process. An integration center of excellence (ICoE) can help you build them quickly, reliably, and affordably and eliminate up to 80% of the work required.

Boomi’s Business Integration Solution

Boomi’s iPaaS enables the fast and flexible business integration of applications, data, and people by offering pre-built connectors for over 300,000 endpoint applications. Boomi also provides cost-effective integration management, intelligent decision-making, enhanced security measures, and support for emerging technologies. Boomi solutions also offer regular updates and low-code implementation. That’s why Boomi empowers organizations to streamline their integration and automation processes and improve overall productivity.

Learn more about business integration in our ebook, “Connecting a Fragmented Digital Landscape Through Modern Integration