A company that runs too many applications can get bogged down by the inefficiency. So how do you cover all the bases while keeping an eye on streamlined processes?

Well, one way to speed up operations and provide each department the best software around is integration! Easily integrated applications are a thing of beauty, and can help CIOs consolidate the number of programs their companies use, and improve functionality across the board. The Capgemini 2014 Application Landscape Report questioned 1,000 CIOs from 16 countries about the applications their businesses use, and found nearly half think they employ too many.

Too many applications are doing the same things.
One reason why these CIOs think they're using too many applications is because many of those programs share functions. Why would you pay for the same feature 14 times over, when you can fork over the money for it once and move to the next item on your list? If your sales applications, human resources software and accounting programs all take account of employees' hours, for example, then two of those three departments are wasting money. In fact, 73 percent of CIOs believe that 20 percent of applications share functions, and should be consolidated.

So how do you bring together the disparate elements of your software toolbox? Through integration! Small and midsize businesses these days, on average, utilize 14.3 separate applications, an Intermedia report found. That's a lot, and probably too many in most cases. We can break it down even further as well. The average employee uses 5.5 separate programs on a daily basis, each of which will need to be configured to the individual's devices, integrated with other software and constantly supported by a dedicated information technology staff. If you have 75 employees, your IT staff is already servicing over 400 user accounts—why not narrow that down to 75, or even 150? Why pay for all of those repetitive processes when you don't have to?

Using too many applications can become frustrating and inefficient. Easy integration makes for efficient applications.
As it turns out, applications for small to midsize businesses exist that can be easily integrated and essentially work as a one-stop-shop for all of your regular business needs. For example, Intacct and Salesforce allow for shockingly simple integration. (Intacct is a Salesforce Platinum ISV Partner).  Intacct’s accounting software is built to communicate with other best-in-class programs in order to make business processes more efficient, and cut IT costs. Intacct has pre-built connections, which make it easy for you to set up the application within your own business environment. Additionally, you can look into custom connections offered by the software provider. This way your IT team, your Intacct partner, and Intacct's own staff can help you set up customized integration using the web services API.

This extensive integration is useful because Intacct is more than an accounting software—its functions allow for sweeping improvements to business operations. Payments, accounts payable services, accounts receivable, cash management solutions, and more can all be handled by Intacct applications. A best-in-class program that improves the company as a whole and seamlessly integrates can help streamline business and generate a significant return on the investment into the software.


This content was originally posted here by David Furth.