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7 common mistakes in system integration

Once you've decided to carry out a system integration, it's easy to dive straight into it once you understand how much it will contribute to your business. However, there’s a risk of mistakes creeping in, which can negatively affect the integration process and the final result.  

Here, we list some common mistakes that companies often make when it comes to system integration. Since Meta Bytes primarily builds integration platforms, that's what we’ve based our insights on. Having said that, many of the tips below are also useful to consider for other types of system integrations.

Oh and by the way, you can read about benefits of implementing an integration platform here.

Insufficient planning

As mentioned, it's easy to rush the process to get started quickly, but in doing so you risk missing out on important insights. Invest time and resources in planning for system integration. This way, you'll be able to establish a clear goal of what you want, as well as conduct an analysis of your current situation. Don’t forget to consider future aspects and how the company may evolve. During the planning phase, it's also important to identify potential risks that may arise during the process.

Unclear responsibilities and requirements

Due to inadequate planning, there can be ambiguity about the requirements. It's crucial that everyone involved knows what needs to be delivered and when, or there's a high risk of something going wrong. It’s equally important to clearly designate someone responsible for system integration. Be sure to appoint someone with the authority to make important decisions regarding the choices to be made and who is also familiar with the processes to be integrated.

Failures in either of the two points above often leads to scope creep, meaning the project just keeps growing. However, this can be avoided with good planning and getting knowledgeable people involved.

Incorrect definition of the data model

When setting up integrations, it's easy to start from the systems rather than from how the operations within the business actually look. This often leads to too much focus on the internal data structures of the systems, rather than how the business handles data between the different systems. The risk is that the structure and logic may not be correctly adapted, in turn preventing seamless data transactions and resulting in errors and deficiencies in data handling. Moreover, if something changes in the specific system, it needs to be changed everywhere.

Inadequate monitoring

A significant advantage of having system integrations in the cloud is the ability to monitor all integration processes in the business. Many overlook this, missing out on a major benefit of an integration platform. With the right setup, you can easily access your cloud platform and have a graphical overview of what's happening. Monitoring is included in many of the available event-driven services, but it's important to have a strategy for how monitoring will take place. This way, you can detect errors and deficiencies before they affect your operations.

Choosing the wrong components

When developing your integration platform, there are several components offered in various cloud services – and it's crucial to thoroughly evaluate them. When implementing an event-driven  platform, it's important to look at the components available for data transmission and choose the one that best fits your needs and requirements. Differences between them may involve data storage, architecture, and error handling.

Not considering the future

When planning your system integration and conducting your current state analysis while building your dream scenario, it's also important to think about the future. The data you have now will grow over the years, and perhaps the entire business will do the same. Therefore, it's important to consider what broader goals you have for the organization, and not just focus on this particular integration. Everything is not static, especially in a business, so make sure you also think about how you might want to scale in the future.

Trying to do everything at once

Many companies that come to us want a big bang, integrating everything they have all at once. However, this often leads to other mistakes mentioned above (e.g., insufficient planning and unclear responsibilities). Instead, work in an agile manner, take everything step by step, and go back to learn from what you've done. Simply put, expand your integration platform over time.

Avoiding the above mistakes in system integration can be crucial in achieving a smooth and successful implementation, creating a robust integration platform that facilitates seamless data exchange and efficiency.

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