In the media

The challenges of integrating SaaS applications

By Stephen Pritchard

Computer Weekly

04 September 2023

PA Consulting’s Andrew Larssen, an enterprise IT specialist, discusses the challenges of integrating SaaS applications with Stephen Pritchard in Computer Weekly.

Commenting on this, Andrew says: “Most places have SaaS applications, few large organisations don’t have any. We see a lot of these in HR, as it is an internal function that can be a bit forgotten as it doesn’t generate money. That’s not where the big spending is. The other area where you see a lot of SaaS is sales and relationship management. A lot of companies have something in that space to manage their contacts and leads… but even when you buy from a single vendor, often the challenge is getting everything to work together.”

He adds: “Enterprises do need to integrate their various systems to be able to produce management reporting or transfer data between systems. If you have a sales system or manufacturing system, you need to transfer data between them. Without being able to do that, you end up with business silos or rekeying data. Data is the lifeblood of a business and it needs to flow around. The alternative is the ‘swivel chair’ approach, with users re-keying information between systems. That is time consuming and even more error prone.”

Discussing integration solutions, Andrew says: “The more forward-thinking vendors would rather have a smaller slice of the pie than none of it, so are much happier to integrate with all sorts of products.”

He concludes: “CIOs may have to pick the best integration method to serve a range of requirements as it makes little sense to run multiple forms of integration between the same applications. If you have two products you are trying to integrate, it is less work to integrate them all the same way. Taking an integration between an HR and an IT system as an example, he points out that although a batch process would work well for adding for new joiners, and an API for locking and unlocking accounts, the smarter option is to use just one method. You may as well use the APIs for everything.”

Read the full and original article in Computer Weekly

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