The first step in any robust solution is to perform a complete audit of your business that includes each department and the processes or applications they use to conduct their daily requirements. This can be done internally, or through an experienced consulting team. Decide from the inception of an integration audit which roles and responsibilities will be delegated to whom. From here, you can accurately assess what is broken or what can be improved.
Remember, integration can help achieve goals as far ranging as the improvement of conversion rates on your eCommerce website, increasing the number of sales calls made per day, increasing the proportion of qualified leads garnered from total leads acquired, greater supply chain efficiency, better customer retention rates, prolonging the customer lifecycle, automating time-consuming business processes, streamlining IT task orientation, ranking your product pages higher in SERPS (search engine result pages)
, the list goes on. Define every possible problem that can be solved or improvement that can be made, even if it’s relatively small. Even a positive 1% change can mean saving or earning many thousands of dollars for an enterprise business over time.
Addressing Security Concerns
Organizations are wary of integrating sensitive technology or financial data, and with good reason. In 2013, there were well over 425 million data records stolen or accessed with malicious intent. That’s 1.2 million every day, or 830 every minute. Human fallibility is the easiest weakness to exploit, with 76% of these security breaches due to the exploitation of weak or stolen credentials.
To deduce security requirements and access levels in your solution, identify the intensity of the sensitivity the data being integrated possesses and the typical way individuals perform business processes within your organization.
Do you need to meet HIPPA requirements
and financial security standards? If your organization segments access to certain types or sources of information for specific departments or position hierarchies, be sure to note this in your business requirements for any integration. To put it simply: Identify who needs access to what and from where.
Minimum Viable Product
The most lucrative and essential aspects of your eCommerce business you wish an integration solution to solve should be compartmentalized in your MVP (minimum viable product). The MVP contains the bare requirements that must be met in order to launch an effective integration project and is the best place to start budgeting and solution shopping.
These are the basic yet essential first steps to take before moving forward with a full integration of your eCommerce website and enterprise business systems. Ideally, you'll look for a customized integration solution, however this depends on the scope and scale of your business goals. If you're just getting started and want to see where you stand compared to other companies as well as the general climate of systems integration, check out this article giving an overview of the line of business systems integration climate
. Please feel free to call the Clarity team for a free consultation as well!