Tips for Managing Disparate Information Systems
No business starts out with a multitude of disparate information systems that all need to be organized so you can draw data from them. Startups and small businesses generally don’t need data analytics systems or a data scientist on the team in order to keep track of everything. As businesses expand, though, they don’t just take on more employees and start selling more products. They need more software solutions to help with business processes such as customer relationship management (CRM) platforms, human resources information systems, sales integrations, data management platforms, and more.
If you’re currently operating a large, enterprise-level business, then having disparate systems can slow you down in many ways. Siloed systems are more expensive to manage than integrated ones, it’s harder to ensure your data is accurate and current, and you’ll have to continue upgrading each system separately. As companies continue to advance with their digital transformations, applications integration architecture becomes increasingly important.
Here are a few things you can do to more easily manage your disparate business systems.
Upgrade to an HRIS.
An HRIS – human resources information system – is a one-stop-shop for all of your human resources needs. This database isn’t just great for your HR department: it can tie your entire organization together. Your HRIS system makes it easy to record and process information related to payroll, benefits administration, employee data, and more.
Of course, an HRIS can also help HR professionals find quality recruits more easily and get them through the hiring process more efficiently. You should be able to integrate with major job boards and post open positions almost instantly. Afterward, you can easily track the process of each candidate and schedule them for interviews and get your chosen recruits through the onboarding process as quickly as possible. It’s also great for storing employee information and company documents for compliance purposes and to keep track of training and promotions.
Use a CRM system.
While it’s always important to ensure a better employee experience, don’t forget about your customers. They’re the lifeblood of your business, so offering standout customer support is crucial. The best way to ensure this is with a reliable CRM service. These systems help your sales team effectively pursue clients that fit your business and put customer satisfaction first. You’ll be able to offer customized solutions for each client and provide them with personalized, memorable customer journeys that encourage customer retention.
CRM solutions can also be integrated into your call center. The best solutions allow customers to contact your support agents through their preferred digital means, such as text, SMS, webchat, email, or mobile app. This provides more convenience to your customers and eliminates the dread of being placed on hold that’s usually associated with call centers. By exceeding customer expectations, you’ll encourage loyalty and even have a chance at some positive publicity.
Find the right integrations approach.
Eventually, even having the most advanced disparate systems won’t be enough. The need to integrate everything will come to each enterprise eventually, so it’s best to start early. There are a few different approaches, with point-to-point integration being the simplest. This is where you integrate specific solutions one at a time as the need arises. An example could be integrating your CRM system with sales software, so you can share customer data. This is fine at first, but as your needs progress, the amount of point-to-point integrations may become hard to keep track of.
Enterprise application integration (EAI) is better as a long time solution. The enterprise service bus (ESB) basically serves as a central hub for all of your applications, and it can be connected to as many solutions as you need. The main weakness of the ESB is that it doesn’t easily connect to the cloud.
If you want cloud-based integration solutions, you’ll need to go with an iPaaS platform that automates all of your integrations. This is likely the easiest choice for most enterprises, though you will have to pay a subscription. No matter which option you pick, integrations will make your business processes easier and help ensure you always have the most reliable data to work with.