Software unification – the challenges and solutions

Once your business reaches a certain size, connecting all your software to work with other software can start to become a real headache. That’s where software unification comes in.

Because technology is always advancing. Market demand and consumer expectations are always developing. The combination has left many organisations struggling with a fragmented collection of software that doesn’t work well together.

Unifying your software isn’t easy – there are many challenges. But if you want to free your business from the shackles of a fragmented bag of software, choosing the right solution is vital.

What is software unification?

Software unification involves unifying or syncing all of your business data in a single platform.

The dream of unifying many or all your business functions in one software solution is the story behind the success of platforms like Google Workspace and Microsoft 365. Data is held centrally and can be accessed universally by multiple users (and access controlled with a few quick clicks).

These platforms cover a lot of business processes. Yet there are still some niches where you may need to integrate other software.

One way to do this is to wrap all your software in a kind of top layer of integration. Yet this can present its own difficulties and, while this has the potential to deliver functional software integration, it might not necessarily count as good software unification.

The challenges of software unification

Moving beyond a fragmented collection of software is always a good thing to strive for. But it presents some unique challenges, including:

1)Unification strategy

Dealing with new demands or market pressures can lead to organisations adopting new software and defaulting to quick integration band-aids with existing systems.

If you want to manage your unification and its impact on your business, you need to have a cohesive strategy in place. Otherwise, you risk an unplanned process that results in lost revenue.

2) Unification resources

Unifying your software will save resources in the long run. The wasted time and money of constantly integrating and gap-filling existing systems are primary reasons to unify in the first place.

Yet unifying will itself require an outlay of time and resources. These need to be planned and budgeted for.

3) Unification alignment

Teams across your organisation need to understand your goals in unifying your software structure. Without clear communication, you risk teams working at cross purposes or failing to reap the rewards that proper integration will bring.

Some of the key advantages of software unification will be minimised miscommunication and no siloing of data. But you need to actually achieve unification first if you’re going to benefit from them.

Why is software unification important?

  1. Unified business data and processes – vital for businesses of any size, especially if they’re spread across multiple locations, unified software ensures data is readily available.
  2. Save staff time and resources – if your team are constantly needing to fill cracks in your system and manually bridge gaps between software, they’re wasting time and resources. The automations built into unified system are also great resource savers.
  3. Pinpoint new business opportunities – possibilities for leveraging customer knowledge and data are lost when not all data can be readily accessed. With silo-free data, you improve reporting and extract more value from systems too.
  4. Collaborate in real-time – live editing of data ensures your system is constantly up-to-date, allowing you to deliver a  better customer experience. This is particularly useful in a world where remote working is becoming the norm.
  5. Secure your data – it’s easier to implement good cybersecurity practices when all of your data is in one place. You also make it possible to unify your cybersecurity efforts and processes themselves, further reducing risk.

Software unification solutions

Every business’s journey to digital transformation is different. Most have made transitioned on an ad hoc, piecemeal basis. This can lead to a situation where easy integrations between individual software solutions isn’t possible, creating big problems with data silos.

Some software becomes the default even though it isn’t ideal. Some make sense in isolation but don’t work well when viewed holistically. These solutions require maintenance time and constantly drain resources, including expensive staff time.

Modern-day platforms like Google Workspace and Microsoft 365 show you what unified software can achieve, frequently covering almost all processes a contemporary business needs. However, it’s important to always be vendor-agnostic when choosing the best solution for your business.

Instead of operating constantly at the limit of what your tech set-up can achieve, properly implemented software unification empowers your business to leverage its data, minimise costs, work more efficiently, and stay at the forefront of your industry.

Ready to start planning how to unify the software your business relies on?

Let’s talk. Dial A Geek has helped over 900 businesses in the Bristol area and the UK make their tech work for them for a change.

Set up a cost and commitment-free chat with Chief Geek Gildas Jones today and let’s see how we can make yours work for you.