When developing a custom application to support your organization’s business processes, there are a number of reasons you might want to facilitate direct and automated entry of data into a computer system.
Perhaps your company has representatives out in the field, such as sales reps or inspectors. Rather than having them log data with a specialized device while in the field and transfer it “manually” at the office, these professionals might use an iPad to gather the information, with the data syncing automatically to a centralized database.
Device integration can transform business processes in a variety of fields and in a variety of ways. Let’s take a look at five of the top benefits device integration can deliver to drive more effective processes.
- Improved data accuracy
An automated approach improves the accuracy of the data an organization collects, partly by eliminating the possibility of information being improperly transferred or lost in transit to the centralized system. Furthermore, an integrated approach makes it possible to perform automated data validation, allowing for higher quality data and leaving less room for human error.
- Greater efficiency
When implemented properly, a process with integrated devices is significantly more efficient, allowing a team to pursue higher-value activities rather than manually transferring the data they have collected. Not only does the process of gathering data become more efficient, but an organization can make decisions or act on more up-to-date data, since it is processed as soon as it is collected.
- More effective decentralized teams
With effective device integration, a decentralized team can have regular access to the relevant data, which allows the support team to monitor and analyze information from any location. For large businesses or smaller businesses spread out across the country or the globe, this improved coordination can be a critical advantage.
- More reliable response strategies
Thoughtful device integration enables automated monitoring and detailed logging, meaning that a system could trigger alarm conditions in certain situations. Rather than relying purely on human oversight, businesses can ensure that there is a consistent and reliable automated response to particular error conditions.
- An increasingly rich archive of data
As with any database system, collecting a body of logged data gives organizations the ability to analyze it later on, perhaps even optimizing their business processes further based on the data they collect. Device integration means building a growing and highly connected archive of useful information, and this data can prove invaluable over time.
Applications in many industries
From retail to the healthcare industry, device integration is changing the way organizations do business. In healthcare, for example, medical device integration is allowing providers to update electronic health records in real-time with “smart” medical devices, monitoring patients more effectively and collecting rich, up-to-date data on their health.
For a very different example, sales teams for some large companies use iPads as integrated devices in order to walk buyers through the sales process. They can enter all the relevant data like customer and order information into the iPads, and that data is saved automatically in their organizations’ CRM systems, so all their sales activity and contact info is logged as it’s updated. This saves a tremendous amount of time.
Still another example might see a manufacturer using connected industrial devices like scales to operate automatically and send alerts if something unexpected happens, as well as analyze data about the production process over time.
Whatever process an organization seeks to optimize, the key is to nail down the goal of the optimization first. There are many different ways that integrated devices can help businesses achieve their goals more efficiently and effectively – by identifying the challenges an organization seeks to solve through software from the outset, they can typically arrive at a solution more swiftly.