System Integration: What’s it about?
In the engineering and ICT world, Systems Integrations is the process of bringing together the subsets required to make a functional system, in order to achieve or sustain a particular system.
These subsets could be made up of physical or virtual components; Physical components such as computer hardware and complex machine systems, while virtual components might include the company or organization’s database and other software.
When it comes to ICT, systems integration involves the linking up of various computing and software systems, either physical linking or software functional linking, to arrive at a functional system.
At PPC Limited, Systems Integrators can create discrete systems using a variety of techniques. The purpose is for a single unit to bring together the various components necessary to successfully carry out a project, and make them work together as a single unit.
How Do You go About System Integration?
Considering the amount of diversity and variety in engineering, it follows that creating engineering systems are just as diverse. Various considerations go into designing a system to fit company specifications, all depending on their resources, projects, and goals.
These considerations, as well as past experience with certain systems, will determine the type of system integration that will be set up for each enterprise. System Integration can be carried out using various models that are grouped according to their characteristics. These include:
- POINT-TO-POINT INTEGRATION: This consists of only 2 systems coming together to achieve a particular function. Point-to-point is not a complex system and can hardly be termed system integrations perse.
- VERTICAL INTEGRATION: also known as a ‘silo’ system, this system integration creates a silo starting from the basic system and builds upward on a need only basis. This a simplistic system with only the most basic integrations involved. While this system might be easier to build, simpler and cheaper, the rigidity of the silo will give rise to some long term problems and result in higher cost of ownership.
- STAR INTEGRATION: This system constitutes of subsystems that are connected point-to-point. Also known as ‘Spaghetti Integration”, this system of integration becomes bulkier, the more the sub-systems. Managing the complex system could be quite demanding, as a change in every system will affect as many connections as there are systems.
- HORIZONTAL INTEGRATION: This system of integration makes use of a separate sub-system created specifically for integrating the other subsystems. The separate sub-system also known as Enterprise Service Bus will be the only unit of communication between the various subsystems. This reduces the burden of moderation and can allow changes in a specific system that will not affect the functioning of other subsystems.
Why Do We Need System Integration?
Every company or organization is set up to meet a certain end or achieve a goal, regardless of their product or services.
In order to do this, there must be maximum productivity. This can only be achieved when all necessary hands are put together in a skillfully designed system. This way, the company gets maximum productivity in record time which is achieved with proper information set up to drive ease of operations.
System Integration reduces operational costs by limiting trial and errors from ill-equipped systems or information disparity in the course of carrying out an expensive task or project.
A system integrator simply brings the technology, hardware, and software, alongside providing the know-how necessary to complete your projects, available at all points when needed.
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