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Systems Integration

Systems Integration is a complex subject of increasing importance to all business sectors. It brings into play many skills in which 20CC specialise

  • Management Consultancy
  • Analysis of Business needs and supporting Systems
  • Programme & Project Management

To which must be added good people skills, which our experienced, industry hardened consultants possess, to maximise and harness the essential input from the client’s personnel.  Systems Integration can mean many things from the technology base, through systems exchanging data, to data compatibility issues leading to EDI in an advanced Client/Supplier relationship.

The Starting Point
There are probably as many starting points as there are successful Systems Integration projects.  It really must depend on the current business situation and technological environment and the problems that are expected to be faced.  However, there will a matrix of issues concerning current technology, the needs for current systems development and enhancement, new systems to meet projected business needs, future technological developments and the development of, at least, a corporate-wide approach to data and its definition.

So the main stimulus to embark on a SI project may a problem, generated by current business or the needs of the future plans for the development of the business.

Even without this problem stimulus to invest in a development project, there are aspects that can be put in place which will make the day-to-day issues and costs more manageable.

The Justification for Systems Integration Projects
Boards of companies and those responsible for authorising work on corporate systems are naturally sceptical and seek re-assurance on the need to continue spending on the information resources of the company.  The only constant in business today is the continuing need to change.

Most companies find it a struggle just to keep up with the rapidly burgeoning facilities of each new software package.  Consequently, time to develop the package’s full impact on the business, not to mention the combined impact of multiple systems, is simply not available.  As we move into the information age most companies accept, that the company with the best grasp of the information pertinent to its market and business, will have a significant competitive advantage over its rivals.

In many companies subject to regulatory pressures to maintain up-to-date records of complex physical facilities for their entire life-time are under pressure to focus all the information into consistent and accessible formats for rapid retrieval in an emergency and to satisfy searching legal enquiry, as well as the more mundane, but ongoing, benefits of more efficient operations.

There is a raft of new "new technologies" on the market to give better manipulation of corporate data.  In themselves these will not produce more integrated systems, but illustrate the need for an understanding the technologies surrounding Information as the foundation of any integration.

The evaluation of what systems are needed to operate the business now and in the future requires objective analysis of the information and data flows that are required.  In most clients this is best done, by the appointment of an experienced consultant to facilitate and guide a representative team of in-house staff.  The detailing of this output then forms the basis of systems development that is needed to meet the future business plans of the company.

The company can then develop accurate policies, strategies and plans for:

  • IT Infrastructure
  • IS Development
  • Data Dictionaries
  • Supplier/Customer relationships

Throughout the project the maintenance of the integrity and security of the existing operational systems is of paramount importance.

Go to the Project & Change Management page