Planning for API Integration - Top 5 Business To Do’s
Planning for API Integration
Getting your legacy system to speak to other applications can be time-consuming, and expensive. And while you’re trying to find workarounds to handle new data pipelines and applications, your customers have already moved on. Likewise with your competitors.
API integration is one way to tackle the problems created by legacy systems. It gets systems connected, resulting in more streamlined data entry, reduced expenses, and greater efficiency both on the user-facing side and internally.
At Poeta, we have the expertise to deliver API integration that is functional, high performing, and secure. There’s just a few things we need you to consider before we get started!
Know, understand and document your processes:It’s one thing to know that your staff are spending too much time on manual data input, it’s another to know the actual data they’re touching and how often. When considering API integration, one of the first things you need to do is thoroughly understand the processes you have so that you can tell where inconsistencies are occurring. Consider in detail why you need different systems to talk to each other. Ask yourself what process you are trying to replace, fix, or solve, and know it really well. The better your knowledge, understanding and documentation, the easier it will be for us to come up with a targeted and precise solution.
Document the software that you are going to want to have integrated and identify any potential gaps:Just as it’s important to know your own processes, it’s equally important to have a good understanding of the software you’re looking to have integrated. We need to know the context you’re working within and the boundaries of your process. This will help us determine if an existing API meets the integration requirements or if a customized solution is required, which usually entails greater cost. Be as precise and specific as you can. For example, we have GP Dynamics version 5.7 on-prem in a server of type x and the owners of that server are my IT guys.
Must-have vs. nice-to-haves:When you know the benefits of API integration (and there are many!), it's easy to get caught up in wanting to do everything at once. Resist this temptation and instead drill down into what is a must-have for your company versus a nice-to-have. Don’t expect to get everything first go. Be prepared to focus on a small component and then work from there to enhance and improve. Wanting everything at once will simply get you another legacy-ready enterprise system that may never get finished. Simplify, simplify, simplify. And remember, no API integration is ever perfect. Get comfortable with the idea of achieving maybe 95% and always reaching for 100%
Systems owners:Know who owns the systems and get their buy-in before you begin. It’s no good saying you want to automate data to go into a particular piece of software if the business owners of that software are not on board. When we know the software owner or owners, we can work fast without any unnecessary delays. Plus, they will be able to provide key information about the pathways for integration that may not be immediately obvious. For example, the current version of the software may have a fully developed API, but the version that you are running does not. That is an important detail.
Let’s talk money:The key to a flawless integration process is to know and understand what your budget is and being ready to share that. Once we know what your budget is, we can work with you to design an integration that will meet as many of your needs as possible within that budget. Even if you have a large budget, we’ll split that into smaller phases and focus specifically on the must-haves first. Like we said earlier, it’s crucial to focus in on the processes you absolutely need. Better to start small and solve a key problem and then build up to enhancements and improvements.
API integration is a must for any company wanting to stay competitive in our current tech-driven world. The degree to which you are successful in cost-effectively and efficiently implementing API integration depends on your ability to fulfil the five steps listed above. Once you’re ready with your process map, your software documentation, project goals, systems owners’ buy-in, and a budget, we can immediately get to work on delivering an integration that answers your specific needs right now and your developing future needs as your company continues to grow.
Come talk to us at Poeta Digital about how you can change your technology, one API integration at a time. Everything’s possible now that you have a plan in place and an expert in Poeta to make it happen.