A critical factor in enterprise success today is the ability to respond quickly to change. You might be adapting to the next pandemic, a new technology, or a shift in your industry, but whatever the challenge, you must be able to pivot quickly. That means having all your data and systems available where and when you need them. And for many of today’s organizations, it means figuring out how to integrate legacy systems and siloed data.
Like any significant change to your operations, choosing the right integration tools can be daunting. Let’s look at the questions you should ask yourself as you look for new system integration tools.
Do You Really Need Integration Tools?
Many enterprises have historically relied on a centralized model – managed by a single team – to connect all the various endpoints across the organization. But this workflow can cause delays and bottlenecks for modern systems contingent on streamlined connections between distributed components. Legacy models also make it more challenging to replace default system applications with purpose-built point solutions that benefit the business and its customers.
Today’s digital-first world doesn’t afford most companies the luxury of downtime or delays to adopt new integration tools, no matter how beneficial they may be in the long term. But not integrating isn’t an option either, as relying on disparate systems and manual data transfers will leave organizations far behind their digital-native competitors.
Choosing the Right Integration Solution
There are several factors to consider when you begin searching for the right integration tools for your organization:
- Basic requirements, like cost, timeline, and specific concerns or priorities
- How the solution you choose will affect your team
- The effect of integration on your day-to-day operations
- Short- and long-term goals for integration
Ask yourself the following questions and be sure you know the answers before committing to any systems or data integration tools.
1. Basic Requirements
Start at the beginning. Regardless of your resources and visions for the future, there are probably some basic constraints you have to work within. Set the parameters for your integration tools search now, and look for iPaaS tools or solutions that fit them.
- Can the tool (or tools) you’re considering handle all the types of integration you need to support?
- Can it be deployed within the timeline you have for integration? (This is especially important if you have other strategic plans dependent on integrating.)
- Does the solution you’re looking at fit within your budget? (Consider both upfront and ongoing costs.)
- Will it meet any specific security or compliance requirements your organization has?
2. Effects on Your Team
With basic requirements considered, you should examine what the integration tools you select will mean to your team. A solution that looks perfect on paper but conflicts with the primary users probably won’t achieve the goals you’re aiming for.
- Who will be using the integration tool?
- Citizen developers?
- Engineers and architects?
- A mix of both?
- How accessible is the solution to non-technical members of your team? (A highly technical solution may actually increase demand on your IT staff.)
- Which team (or teams) will own and execute your integration strategy?
- Will the integration tools you choose empower your existing team or require you to engage new experts?
Once you’ve established the fundamental requirements your integration tools must meet and how the solution will affect your team, you can move on to looking at the effects the solution you choose will have on your business – both day-to-day operations and long-term goals.
3. Daily Operations
A major shift in how your organization interfaces with different systems and data can be disruptive. Consider the impact tools for data or systems integration may have on your processes.
- How long will the integration process take? A longer transition can lead to delays and costly workarounds for your business.
- What level of disruption to regular operations should you expect? It’s important to understand the potential impact to your business and customers.
- Will there be downtime? How much? How will you handle it?
- How much training will your team need? Do you have the budget for that? How will you operate during onboarding?
- How will the tool you choose affect current systems? Can you manage those impacts?
- Will it work with any niche or legacy systems your organization relies on? If not, how will you address this?
4. Business Goals
Any investment your company makes should help further your business goals, and iPaaS tools for integration are no different. How will the solution you choose impact your success and growth, now and in the future?
- Will it support strategies you have planned or force you to adapt to the way it works?
- Does the integration tool you’re considering have the flexibility your company needs to adapt to industry changes?
- Will it scale with you as your business grows?
- How will it affect your systems in the future?
Finally, consider any guidance or input from trusted experts or consultants on the integration tools you’re assessing. They eat, sleep, and breathe integration and may be able to highlight benefits or drawbacks you haven’t thought of.
Digibee has the Integration Tools You Need
Digibee’s iPaaS solution offers the flexibility and agility your business needs to maintain a competitive edge in a rapidly changing digital-first world. Our integration solution comes without lengthy commitments or large upfront investments, can significantly shorten the time it takes your organization to develop and implement integrations, and provides comprehensive expert support to help maximize the benefits of integrating.
Want to learn more about Digibee’s innovative approach to integration? Request a demo now or contact our team for more information.
 This blog post, originally published in October 2022, was updated to reflect data from the 2023 State of Enterprise Integration Report published in April, 2023.