Thursday, May 23, 2019

Best Practices for Outsourcing Systems Integration

Consider the following information about a company we will call 123, Inc.

  • The legacy system provides the backbone for operations and it is critical to preserve it.
  • Over time, different departments have purchased isolated programs that do not communicate with the legacy system, such as a CRM for marketing, a fixed-asset tracker to facilitate depreciation calculations for accounting and a payroll program tied to employees' badges.
  • When one department needs information contained in one of the stand-alone programs, such as when accounting needs a report on overtime by department, it must request the information and then wait for a response.

If all of the systems could "talk" to each other, every employee with a true need could access the information on demand. The company could run more efficiently, employees would be more productive and the company's profitability should improve. Systems integration could solve the challenge of isolated programs and data siloes.

Outsourcing your systems integration can be a cost-effective solution that leaves your employees free to focus on your core business. However, like any other outsourced project, your integration could fail if not handled correctly. Here are some tips to ensure that your outsourced systems integration project will succeed.

  1. Resolve your internal issues first. Your IT department, for example, might oppose outsourcing. Perhaps the idea makes them less secure about their jobs, or maybe it makes them feel that you do not consider them "good enough" for the project. You may also have department heads who are resistant to change, either because they fear the loss of control or they fail to see how integration will benefit them. Get everyone on board, or at least as many people as you can persuade.
  2. Define your business goals. The integration should support these goals, but you need to make sure that you understand them and can convey them to your provider.
  3. Be flexible regarding work location. It is possible to have all work done at the provider's location, but your specific project might benefit from having one or more of their employees working from your location.
  4. Choose a provider who is established and reliable. Look for diverse skills, familiarity with the latest technologies and a staff of sufficient size to support your project. Insist on a clearly defined contract with specific milestones.
  5. Understand that you will have to share some privileged information with your provider. To integrate your systems properly, your provider must know how your business functions, how the work flows, what your pain points are and what is not working for you.

If you are interested in outsourcing your systems integration, PhaseAlpha can help. Our experience and skills have allowed us to achieve a success rate of 100 percent, which is rare in the technology industry. You can email us at info@phasealpha.com, or if you prefer, you can call our office at (913) 648-9200.
FileUnder: PhaseAlpha > Blog Print