Sixty-two percent of IT leaders say integrating legacy systems is the biggest roadblock to multi-cloud success. Common perceptions around legacy systems, in general, are that they are cumbersome and resource-intensive to upgrade. At the end of the day, it’s not uncommon to have invested a significant amount time and resources in legacy applications and still have valuable data living in them.
So, how do you get the most value out of your legacy data? What’s the best approach when your customers need access to data that is housed in your legacy applications? How do you make the right data available to your team to deliver excellent service? Business leaders need an agile and scalable strategy to make the right data available both for reporting, engaging with their customers, and to ultimately achieve desired results.
Building a case for legacy system integration
Cost and resources are often your biggest considerations in finding the best option for your business. In some cases, it makes sense to maintain legacy systems and integrate them. In others, it’s too expensive and makes more sense to migrate the existing data to a more modern application that supports new channel strategies. You need to determine what’s best for your company, get the right people on board, and put a project plan in place. (If you don’t have the domain expertise in-house to do this analysis, we’d highly recommend reaching out to one of the eOne’s partners who do.)
Start by building the business case and quantifying what your company could gain by integrating your legacy data. Typically, the initial need stems from pain points around tasks that are repetitive, needing better data access and quality, or a shift in the way a company would like to do business.
Top reasons we see customers integrating with their legacy applications:
- Reduce manual entry – Re-entering data over and over is money down the drain and poses risk. People simply make mistakes.
- Improve efficiency – Reducing the amount of time to accomplish a task, especially a repetitive one, can save a lot of time.
- Ensure data accuracy – With consistent data input and validation, you can allow your team to be more accurate as they engage, use the data, and report. Imagine if someone miss-entered the state, and geography was a criteria for every single marketing campaign that you do. That could mean quite a few missed opportunities!
- Improve response time and data access – Automation – whether scheduling your integration to run or triggering it to happen real-time – is a common approach. Both these options present the opportunity to ensure your team can access the data they need in a timely fashion to respond promptly to your customers.
- Ensure better decision making based on better data – Data living in your legacy systems just may be the key to the next big success. Integrating with them to bring your data into the right format and database framework will give your team a competitive advantage as they’re able to be more accurate and strategic.
- Provide more informed customer engagement – Champion and enable your front line with the information they need to provide the best customer service and be proactive.
- Reduce cost of ownership and upgrade of systems – Data integration provides significant ROI benefits via efficiencies in data accuracy and efficient access. This can translate to minimal resources required for things like training that, in the case of using data integration, would be important for a smaller group of people vs. rolling out training across teams.
- Reduce cost of upgrades – Using an appropriate data integration toolset makes it much easier to upgrade your systems, especially when it means upgrading the applications that are integrating with your legacy systems. It’s much easier to update a few connections than to rebuild a custom integration (and to also find the documentation from that one developer who built it).
- Increase system adoption – People are quick to adopt an application when they are confident in the data. Integration helps produce better, more accurate data. On the contrast, bad data makes it easier to give up on an application and feel like a waste of effort.
- The rise of cloud computing – With the rise of Internet of Things (IoT), microservices, data lakes and BI analytics, legacy systems must be integrated in batch or streams to make it easier to utilize the data among web apps.
With any of these, quantify the actuals on resources that could be afforded if you had a data integration strategy for your legacy systems. (For example: your account team spends x amount of time manually entering customer and journal information into system A and then goes into system B to enter the same information. If you could automate a synchronization real-time or in batches every minute of the day during business hours, that would free up x amount of time for your account team to allocate to another project.)
How can eOne help?
As mentioned, some of the challenges around integrating legacy data is how that data is stored, how it can be accessed, and whether it’s possible to access it at the preferred time for the integration. Developing custom integrations is always an option, but choosing an integration tool should allow you to build your integrations quickly, easily manage errors and changes, and reduce your time and effort the next time you need to upgrade your systems.
eOne’s integration toolset, SmartConnect, helps bridge the gap for companies, allowing them to integrate their legacy systems with their ERP, CRM and cloud applications. SmartConnect provides many options to set up a connection to your systems and data including via web services/API (REST and SOAP are supported), SQL, ODBC/OLEDB, XML, and via flat files. SmartConnect offers both real-time triggers and a scheduler for you to automate your integrations to run when you need them to, so you can use either event-based or batch processing.
Would SmartConnect be a good fit for your legacy system integration?
Give us a call at +1-888-319-3663 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d be happy to discuss your specific scenario with you.