In the digital world we have more of a need than ever before for collaboration between systems. Companies which operate within this industry, using APIs and VAR system integrator tools are working with thousands of clients around the world to deliver their desired products. Historically we would see this level of integration exist more in the manufacturing space more than anywhere else, as machinery began to go automated. The days of multiple apps on a machine talking to each other to measure, form and cut have not gone just yet, but integration these days revolves far more around utilizing a number of applications to deliver a product or service to the customer.
This is very much a solutions-based industry, and these are the problems which are often thrown up, which need to be overcome.
Glitches in the Matrix
Whilst we are seeing some change with regards to this approach to app design, for so many years the apps were designed to be self-sufficient. What we mean by this is that applications were often designed to be used on certain operating systems only, and never to collaborate with other applications. This is one of the biggest challenges which systems integrators have, more-so when they are using pre-existing apps. It is often the case that some level of coding has to be changed or an API is designed to bridge the gap and ensure that two or more apps can in fact co-exist and work together. We so often see glitches here, when apps are running at the same time, this of course is not fit for purpose in the eyes of a client.
When digital systems are coming together to work as one, there are clear security threats which are going to present themselves. Cyber security is absolutely critical and sometimes the overall structure of a product which is housing the apps, has weak points which can be exposed. Both the product owner and the creator of the applications have a responsibility to each other in terms of security, and so too does the company which is looking to tie it all together. Security is often top at the list of priorities for a systems integrator.
It is one thing to connect systems and ensure that they can operate together, but there is also a level of refinement here which is needed in order to deliver a high quality product to the client. The systems should run in the background, leaving no trace of their existence. Ultimately the goal of the systems integrator is to create a product, using multiple systems, which has the facade of being a single, high functioning system. This is a common challenge when they have to bring in multiple systems to complete the overall project.
There is much more which integrators lose sleep over each night, but these are generally the biggest challenges which they face when working on a new project.