With the increasing complexity of IT, businesses want complete IT solutions that include the right software, networking, and hardware components. They also want those components to be completely aligned with each other and function seamlessly as a unified IT solution.
When businesses are working to better unify their tech stack, partnering with a systems integrator (SI) can be a game-changer. Learn more about what a systems integrator is, what they do, and some of the benefits they offer their customers in this guide.
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What Is a Systems Integrator?
A systems integrator, sometimes called a system integrator, is a company or individual that brings together the disparate components of an IT subsystem into a fully-functional whole system. This includes designing, implementing, and managing project objectives for a solution that addresses clients’ technical needs or business requirements.
In the IT industry, a systems integrator aligns software and hardware subsystems into a comprehensive IT system. This integration or alignment helps to simplify and streamline IT processes and the overall technology ecosystem. System integrators are most commonly used for projects related to enterprise application integration, computer programming, business process management, digital transformation, and computer systems.
What Do Systems Integrators Do?
Over time, systems integrators have moved from working with the IT department to playing a bigger role in shaping the business strategy of an organization. The overall goal of a systems integrator is to draw on their technology expertise, industry knowledge, and functional experience to design, deliver, align, and implement IT solutions that create value and support clients’ business goals.
Systems integrators can use existing tools, offered by companies like SAP and Oracle, or develop a custom-built system that helps clients achieve their business and quality management goals.
As a first step, systems integrators often analyze existing processes to design, deliver, and test an integrated solution. Systems integrators frequently invest in developing software and emerging technologies that can be used to create value for their clients and accelerate business innovation. They also frequently use cloud computing solutions to create custom-built platforms for their clients.
Examples of Systems Integrators
Systems integration solutions are part of the advanced IT-focused managed services that Deloitte offers in its portfolio. As a professional services firm, Deloitte uses different tools, applications, and technologies to create a synchronized business environment and help clients harness the full power of their resources.
Deloitte offers the services of experts in advisory and implementation so that even the most complicated business and technology integrations can be transformed into a simplified process for a great customer experience.
Cognizant is often ranked as one of the top system integrators and technology partners in the world. The company is committed to helping businesses become more efficient and finding ways to streamline business processes.
Systems integration solutions offered by Cognizant are geared toward building and delivering a collaborative and comprehensive way of doing business in a digital landscape that continues to evolve.
IBM is one of the most accomplished SI partners in the world. They offer comprehensive solutions and complete ecosystems for technology and tools. In recent times, their focus has shifted to using cloud computing for systems integration solutions.
IBM offers different integration platforms and methods to keep client costs to a minimum and boost efficiency. There is a strong emphasis on accelerated integration so the time required to achieve alignment between different components of the whole system is minimized.
Hear from an IBM thought leader: IBM on the Evolving Role of the CIO: Interview with Kathryn Guarini, CIO of IBM
Benefits of Working with a Systems Integrator
The implementation of new applications, hardware, or software across a company, small or large, can be a painstaking process. Similarly, trying to integrate different component subsystems can be complex and time-consuming. Working with a professional systems integrator can ease or at least simplify these problems.
One of the major advantages of working with a systems integrator is that you can automate and streamline business processes with experts who do this kind of work every day. This often improves cost efficiency by eliminating repetitive or redundant tasks.
Systems integrators can also help improve accessibility, productivity, and coordination between teams across different platforms. Finally, another key benefit of working with a systems integrator is that their work will increase a business’s scalability, as they often use cloud computing technologies that can easily be scaled up or down.
Best Practices for Partnering with a Systems Integrator
Find a partner that knows your industry
Companies that are looking to hire or partner with a systems integrator should consider the experience and skill sets of the systems integrator. Ideally, the systems integrator should have a solid understanding of the business and the business problem that the client is looking to solve. Even if the systems integrators are not experts in the client’s industry, they should be willing to familiarize themselves with the client’s business so they leverage their experience and skills to deliver effective solutions.
Prioritize open communication and clear project expectations
Partnering with the right systems integrator is crucial, but it is equally important to continue building on that relationship as projects progress. Both parties should get to know the people they are working with to facilitate coordination, provide feedback, and gain each other’s respect.
As the client and systems integrators work on time-consuming and complex projects, it helps to clearly define how both parties plan on collaborating and communicating at different phases of the project. Project management should emphasize open communication, both external and internal, to keep transparency a top priority. Regular meetings to get feedback and keep everyone updated on progress are also a good practice when partnering with a systems integrator.
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