Each department at your organization likely uses its own suite of SaaS apps and on-premise systems.
Your marketers might rely on a marketing automation platform like Marketo to capture and nurture leads; your sales reps might rely on Salesforce to manage their everyday activities with prospects; your customer support reps might rely on ServiceNow to view and work on client issues—and so on.
Even though each team has its own set of responsibilities, the data they collect and use within their tools can be equally valuable across other functions.
This begs the question: How can you ensure that a team has access to data that could benefit them? By building integrations across your apps and systems and moving the data freely between them.
In case you need more convincing, here are 9 ways that business integration can benefit your business.
1. You can avoid manually re-entering data
To illustrate how valuable this is, let’s walk through a specific use case:
Imagine adding information on a client in your CRM, and then realizing that you need to add that same information to the client’s profile in your marketing automation platform, IT service management system, among other places. This manual data entry might be ok for one or two clients, but it can quickly become an issue when you need to update dozens, hundreds, and even thousands of client accounts.
Using system integration, you can connect the apps that collect customer data and build workflows that share client information across them instantly—thereby preventing your team from having to edit any bit of information themselves.
2. You can utilize data to its fullest extent
As mentioned earlier, data can often benefit multiple functions in different ways.
Take product usage data for instance. You can integrate your data warehouse platform (that collects this type of data) with several systems, and then distribute the product usage data across each in order to improve its accessibility.
Here are just a few examples:
- A CRM platform so that customer success managers can identify upsell/cross-sell opportunities
- An ITSM platform so that customer support reps can pinpoint customers that need support and where they need it
- A marketing automation platform so that marketers can put clients into the appropriate nurture sequences and better plan their events
3. You can avoid hopping between apps
When data lives in several places, you no longer have to move from app to app in the hopes of finding information. You can, instead, stay on the platform you’re already comfortable using—saving you your team time, and enabling business processes to run more smoothly.
4. You can align with your colleagues
There are numerous examples you can point to:
- A customer success manager can see that an invoice has been delivered in the CRM platform while a colleague in finance can see the same in an ERP system like NetSuite
- An HR manager can find an employee’s contact information in an HRIS, while an employee in IT can find the info in their ITSM platform.
- A marketer can see a prospect’s lead score in their marketing automation platform while the sales rep can see the score in their CRM
By accessing the same set of information, everyone can have a consistent, up-to-date view on their customer and employee-related data. This can go a long way in preventing miscommunication, and in helping employees collaborate in ways that are more productive, across business processes.
5. You can keep some of your legacy systems
Moving on from a legacy system isn’t always ideal. Replacing it can be costly, time consuming (as it might require training colleagues on how to use it), and, in some cases, the legacy system might still be uniquely valuable to your organization.
By integrating your legacy systems with your modern, cloud-native ones, you might be able to hold on to the benefits of the former while using their data in more ways via the latter.
6. You can fuel better decision-making
Your analysts’ ability to understand and make intelligent decisions off of data is largely determined by the quality and quantity of data at their disposal.
Data integration, a specific form of integration, can provide them with the high volumes of accurate data they need to make better decisions. It does this by collecting data from numerous applications, transforming it, and then loading it into a data warehouse—which is synced with the BI and analytics tools they rely on.
7. You can have a scalable solution
According to Blissfully, organizations have adopted roughly 30% more apps year over year. This is consistent with what we’ve seen over a larger time window, where over the past several years, app adoption has spiked by 68%.
Having an effective means for integrating different systems allows you to easily accommodate new ones over time, all but ensuring that each gets adopted and used to its fullest extent.
8. You can provide clients with more valuable experiences
As client expectations reach unprecedented levels, it’s critical that you invest in measures that enable your team to meet their needs and wants over time.
An integrated system can play a big role in helping your team exceed client expectations in various ways:
- Customer-facing employees can access all the data they need on a client in a single app, empowering them to take thoughtful and productive actions more quickly
- A support rep can easily escalate an issue that a colleague needs to handle—where that colleague can uncover the issue in real-time and begin working on it in an app they already use. This allows your team to resolve more complicated issues faster
- Support reps can get alerted when their colleagues make changes to a ticket via notifications in their business communications platform (e.g. Slack), allowing everyone involved to work faster in addressing the issue
9. You can build integrations easily and securely
It’s never been easier to build integrations at scale.
That’s because your less technically-savvy employees can now use a low-code/no-code platform that can connect your on-premise and cloud-based systems quickly, reliably, and in a way that’s governed and monitored by IT.
If you’re looking for a low-code/no-code tool that offers this functionality, then look no further than Workato.
Workato, the leader in enterprise automation, offers connectivity to 1000s of SaaS apps, databases, legacy systems, and more, without requiring a single line of code.
It also allows your team to go a step beyond business integrations. Using the platform, you can build end-to-end workflow automations based on triggers and actions that allow your team to transform core processes across your organization