Enterprise Application Integration: Types, Benefits, and Challenges Unlocked
By constantly switching between different independent systems, businesses are at the risk of creating a damaged application environment, which also increases the possibility of duplication of data and functionality. By integrating applications together, businesses can ensure transparency in their operational processes as well as explore the hidden potential of their existing IT systems. And, the best way to do that is by teaming up with enterprise application integration services experts.
The article will explore the benefits and need for application integration in your business and also share the challenges you might face in this process.
So, let’s dig deep and discuss everything in detail:
What is Enterprise Application Integration (EAI)?
Enterprise Application integration, or EAI, is a term that was coined back in 2000. It refers to the process of using all the technologies and services available within an enterprise to integrate most of its business applications. EAI works like a middleware framework that ensures data moves freely b/w enterprise applications ensuring easy data sharing and accessing by users of different applications, including CRM, inventory management software, and more.
Why Enterprise Application Integration is Important?
As we know, multiple applications or software are used in an enterprise for day-to-day operations. A single organization uses different enterprise software or apps for different functions like inventory, sales and marketing, and more. Such modularization of tasks or functionalities allows the decision-makers or leaders to designate responsibilities to specific personnel that would otherwise consume a lot of their time.
This allows senior executives to focus on organization growth and development. But, such categorization of tasks creates interoperability, data integration, and security issues. Such siloed structures mean important information often gets stuck at departmental levels, obstructing business growth and development.
To overcome such challenges, enterprise application integration is a must for your business. By availing EAI services, you can ensure a seamless exchange of vital information across your organization.
EAI ensures better connectivity and communication b/w enterprise applications. And, helps you overcome the challenges associated
Types of Application Integration
1. Shared Database
This is one of the oldest approaches for enterprise application integration. As the name suggests, such a method involves the usage of a common database for managing multiple apps. But, this approach has multiple drawbacks like a single point of failure, technology security loopholes, lack of compatibility with ready-made solutions like Salesforce CRM, and difficulty in database changes.
2. Service-Oriented Architecture
It refers to the creation of independent, agile, and reusable web services (REST services, SOAP-base services). Web services open up the components to communicate with other systems like CRM, TMS, etc.
2.1 Point-to-Point Integration: Prior to EAI, the point-to-point integration approach is used by businesses. In this approach, a unique connector component for each pair of enterprise applications for handling communication. Such type of integration is suitable for smaller IT infrastructure up to three or four systems. However, with increasing components or newer system versions, managing such integration becomes complex.
2.2 Hub and Spoke Integration: This integration involves the creation of a centralized repository to manage different enterprise apps, including cloud-based apps, legacy apps, and more. Such a system is more capable than point-to-point for integrating multiple apps. But, again, this is not feasible for the long term as it requires consistent developer support to manage its components.
2.3 Enterprise Service Bus (ESB): This model is built upon the hub and spoke integration to eliminates its shortcomings. It doesn’t require dedicated developers to manage the integration network manually The apps part of the network should simply follow its standards for seamless integration and data exchange.
3. Robotic Process Automation
This the last integration solution and also a popular one. It can automate up to 45% automation of business activities. RPA software prices start at $10,000. It doesnt require any API, application programming challenges, and is easy to implement. But, any minor changes in the app might require adjustment in robots’ work.
4. Hybrid Model
To overcome the challenges of each model, business usually end up applying a combination of multiple integrations considering tier complex business environment.
an example of a shipment management module of a business where multiple
integrations are applied:
Benefits of Enterprise Application Integration Services
You can integrate multiple applications to automate your business processes, thereby reducing labor costs and the time required for strategic maintenance tasks. For instance, with enterprise application integration in place, a marketing firm can fetch data from CRM software to run an email campaign easily.
Improved Organization Communication and Data Sharing
By availing EAI services, you can improve interoperability and communication b/w different organizational departments. For example, the siloed operations in the automotive industry cost them billions of dollars every year. An agile enterprise application software solution can solve its challenges significantly by eradicating siloed processes and operations.
Improvement in Customer Service Levels
With better IT integration capabilities, enterprise software systems can connect more seamlessly to exchange vital custom information. This helps service teams fulfill customer needs and deliver a timely resolution.
Higher Operational Efficiency
By availing EAI services from an experienced enterprise software development company, you can eliminate communication gaps, optimize critical processes, and impart better control in your organization. EAI allows you to realized holistic benefits against your investment in IT infrastructure. Managing disruptions or breakdowns across departmental processes becomes much easier. For instance, a logistics firm can ensure better coordination b/w its inventory, accounting, and transportation software with proper application integration infrastructure in place.
New Business Opportunities
Proper EAI also lets you identify and respond to new business opportunities during volatile market conditions. You can anticipate, analyze, and predict the impact of external market conditions on your industry and shift your business strategy accordingly to stay risk-averse and operational amid uncertainty.
Take the example of the elearning solutions industry, the businesses with proper EAI in place have built integrated online learning systems to stay operational amid COVID-19 uncertainty. They are using EAI services to streamline processes and create connected systems that seamlessly exchange information across their enterprise IT systems.
The implementation of EAI technologies can also help you minimize costs associated with the maintenance of IT infrastructure in your firm. When you have old and new systems interconnected, you don’t need to make additional investments. Also, the seamless integration of existing business applications cut down the cost related to the new system or app development. Thus, EAI ensures cost saving across the product lifecycle.
Building A Better Strategy for Enterprise Application Integration
The number of apps or systems you need to connect in your business is increasing every passing day. It’s important to choose enterprise application integration services and API solutions - that are reliable, secure, and efficient.
A3logics being an experienced enterprise software solution provider understand this need precisely. We serve business across industries with next-gen EAI solutions designed to support your business needs.
If you want to learn how our teams can help you connect your enterprise systems faster and eliminate data silos, drop us a line today. Our app integration experts will assist you in rapidly integrating your critical enterprise systems.