As businesses grow, they tend to acquire more systems and software to manage their work. Often, this happens naturally as teams expand, new tools are required, and different types of data are collected.
And while those systems are useful, this can often become complicated to manage. With different teams running different software, many businesses find themselves siloed, and spending more time than necessary trying to communicate and manage that information.
Agencies in particular tend to face this problem – your sales team, finance team, creative teams and more will all need different pieces of software to do their jobs properly.
But you don’t need an army of people operating different systems to use tech effectively in your business. Instead, get the platforms to interact with each other.
How to integrate your software
The way you can go about integrating your platforms will depend on the type of software you have.
Many businesses choose to use software as a service (SaaS), where applications are delivered online, rather than the customer purchasing, installing and managing a copy of the software.
SaaS platforms tend to be easy to link with each other compared to in-house software, as they’ll often have integration options built in.
Some make their application programming interfaces (APIs) public, allowing for even more ways to integrate.
You can also use integration platforms as a service (iPaaS) – these platforms are dedicated to joining multiple apps together, cloud-based or otherwise.
How can integration help your business?
Integrating your systems gives you more accurate data by syncing it across your platforms, and reduces the time your team spends either manually inputting information, or exporting it to share with others.
It can also help you to automate a wide range of processes in your business, including:
- Onboarding: by joining your customer relationship management (CRM) software with your work management software, you can standardise a set of steps your team needs to carry out when a new client joins – and you can manage that process with predefined tasks.
- Processing sales: joining your sales platform with your accounting software and work management tools will help you to join the dots across those different departments.
- Invoicing and collecting payment: similarly, many accounting apps offer automatic invoicing features which connect to payment platforms – making it easy for you to bill your clients, and simple for your clients to pay.
- Customer support: support tools can also connect with your CRM, so you can track client interactions and keep all your teams informed.
These are just a handful of situations where integration can help. But before you start working out the practical details of joining your software together, it’s worth taking a step back to look at your business’s various workflows and how different teams connect. From there, you can find the right tool to suit your requirements.
As always, our advice is to start by working out the right system, before identifying how software can help you implement it.