The demand for data integration solutions has increased due to the growing amount of data that needs to be processed and managed effectively. Looking for a sustainable data integration platform? We know that this process may be complicated, especially when there is a wide range of vendors out there.
However, not all data integration software and tools will serve your purpose. Therefore, the first thing before selecting the right platform is identifying your individual business goals and needs. Then in order to choose the right vendor, you should ask appropriate questions. How to make a reasonable investment and not fail in the long run? Keep reading – we’ve prepared a compilation of recommendations worth considering before getting in touch with your potential data integration vendor.
What Do You Want to Achieve with Your Data Integration Solution?
To make sustainable data integration investments and to not take risks, you need to have precise clarity about your goals and intentions. Among the benefits of data integration are the following:
- Your business processes are automated and streamlined.
- You do not need to switch between multiple systems.
- You can get a complete view of your buyer’s journey.
- You can get integrated customer and product data, which will enhance your sales results.
- You can eliminate double data entries.
This list can be prolonged, but we highlighted the main points in order to adjust in the right direction. Thus, it’s essential to determine your goals and your business needs before considering the options.
What Type of Data Do You Have and Where Is It Located?
The locations of your data have a significant impact on the way to integrate it. Such criteria as the number of data sources, their types, and nature determine the solution you will decide to implement. Maybe, you want to connect multiple systems or only your CRM system with an ERP system or move data from an in-house system to the cloud ones. All these aspects are crucial to clarify before going to your data integration vendors.
Is the Data Integration Solution Scalable and Future-proof?
Often, enterprise executives think about a one-off data integration solution for their business without estimating the possible scenarios of their business growth, which leads to extra expenses and poorer business performance in the future. Therefore, it is essential to be prepared and choose the solution that will be able to scale and can adapt to business shifts, additional data transfers, or new users in your systems.
You might think that custom-made data integrations are the best fit in your current situation, but in the long run, it can be ineffective and even devastating. In this case, what is an alternative? – you might ask. Pre-configured data integration platforms can be a good decision. They are robust, fast, user-friendly, and flexible, supporting a large variety of systems and end-points. Read this to know more.
Does It Ensure Security?
Since the data integration process can impact data security, it is crucial to care about vulnerability to a data security breach. According to IBM, the average cost of a data breach is $3,2mln.
That’s why it’s so crucial to place a priority on reducing the risk of cybercrime. Sometimes, data integrations are carried out without encryption of data where XML files are sent via mail or FTP server in order to be imported to other systems.
Consequently, such solutions fail to keep the intruders aside. However, there are also advanced data integration software and tools that have a focus on data security. This is the case of Rapidionline, a cloud-based data integration platform that ensures compressed and secure data transfer via the technology called RapidiConnector.
In order to understand how secure a data integration solution is, you need to ask your vendors:
- Is the data integration process encrypted?
- How are data transfers handled (via SSL encrypted data transfers, maybe?)
- How is data transferred between databases (via APIs?)
- How do their platform/software transform data and ensure security (what technology do they use?)
How does the Data Integration Software Handle Errors?
Transparency in data transfers is an essential aspect when considering data integration solutions. For example, when you transfer all data from the ERP software to your CRM system, this task might be big and tricky, which can result in data transfer errors. In this case, your integration system needs to be able to identify the nature of errors and, generally, facilitate their handling.
In contrast to custom-built interfaces, some ready-made data integration platforms are designed with out-of-the-box integration templates and features, allowing you to get full transparency and control over the data transfer processes.
This is the case of RapidiOnline that also displays a log containing info about data transfers and exact error messages explaining what the error is and indicating how to solve it. This streamlines and optimizes your efforts, allowing you to swiftly resolve issues and resume your activities. However, not all data integration platforms have their own messaging system. So don’t forget to add this point to your question list.
So Which Data Integration Solution Will Fit You?
There is no precise answer since your business needs are individual. That’s why it is vital to select an appropriate vendor who will offer you the best solution in terms of data quality and security and support during data integration procedure. Do not forget to anticipate scalability challenges and upgrades to your system in your decision-making process.
We have outlined the basic questions; however, there are many other aspects to consider in order to achieve robust data integration and that you might be interested in at the consideration phase.