7 benefits of application integration

When deciding whether to integrate specific applications, you’ll likely need to perform extensive cost-benefit analysis.

To help you determine the potential benefits of any integration, we’ll break down the top ones to consider. 

But first, let’s align on the definition of application integration.

What is application integration?

It’s the process of connecting applications, typically through their APIs. Once connected, you can sync specific types of data between the systems in near real-time or on a predefined, time-based cadence.

In addition, you can build application integrations internally, meaning, between the applications your teams use, or between your product and clients’ applications (i.e. product integrations). 

The two types of application itnegration

Related: Examples of application integration

Application integration benefits

We’ll first look at the top benefits of internal applications integrations (our first four benefits) and then review the top benefits of product integrations (the following three benefits).

Benefits of application integration for internal use cases

Improves employee collaboration

By allowing employees to access the same set of data within the systems they’re already using, they’re more likely to work together effectively and arrive at decisions quickly. For instance, if marketing and sales can access the same set of data on leads, they can easily agree on when one party should reach out to a given lead and what their messaging should be. 

Enhances productivity

When employees can avoid having to hop between systems to find information and/or re-enter data, they’re able to save precious time—which they can reallocate toward more impactful tasks.

Eliminates data silos

Since employees can access the data they need within the systems they’re already using, they don’t need to request access to other applications, ask colleagues for the information, or operate without knowing it exists. In other words, application integrations neatly break down and prevent data silos.

Related: Application integration best practices

Streamlines processes

Many automations rely on data getting added or modified a certain way in a specific application. 

For instance, once a new hire gets added to your IT service management (ITSM) tool, the tool can create a predefined set of onboarding tickets for the employee. In addition, the tickets that get created can be based on the new hire’s role and they can include specific details on the employee.

Since internal application integrations allow you to move data quickly, reliably, and accurately, your applications will be able to initiate automated tasks—like the example above—on time and without issues. 

Benefits of application integration for customer-facing use cases

Increases close rates

As prospects evaluate your product with rivals’, they’ll likely consider the integrations each of you provide.

Therefore, if you can offer more integrations, you’ll be more likely to win competitive deals.

Our own research supports this idea; when we surveyed hundreds of product managers and engineers as part of our State of Product Integrations, we learned that nearly two thirds (64%) of organizations have been able to improve their close rate by offering integrations.

Bar chart that shows the benefits of product integrations

Raises customer retention

As the chart above shows, product integrations can also improve customer retention. The finding makes sense, as your integrations can let clients automatically provision/deprovision users, access enriched analytics, and unlock additional use cases in your product.

Enables market expansions

Organizations across regions, sizes, and industries tend to use a specific set of applications. For example, an SMB may be more likely to use Gusto as their HRIS, while an enterprise organization is more likely to use Workday.

Once you identify the applications your target market(s) uses and then offer integrations with these applications, you’ll be more likely to get traction in that market.

Related: A guide to application integration tools

Reap the full benefits of product integrations with Merge

Merge, the leading product integration platform, lets you offer hundreds of integrations—from CRM systems to HRIS solutions to ticketing tools—by building to a single unified API. 

Merge also provides maintenance support and management tooling for your customer-facing team—all but ensuring that you’re able to offer reliable and high-performing integrations without  involving your engineers.

You can learn more about Merge by scheduling a demo with one of our integration experts.