5 software integration challenges in 2024 (based on our research)

When we surveyed hundreds of product managers and engineers as part of our State of Product Integrations report, we learned that organizations are running into several challenges during the integration development and maintenance phases. 

When building integrations, here are the top issues companies face:

The top challenges of building integrations

And here are the top challenges when maintaining integrations:

The top challenges of managing and maintaining integrations

To help you understand and avoid these issues, we’ll cover the top ones that crop up across both development and maintenance and what you can do to address them.

Related: A guide to software integration

Poor integration performance

Building reliable software integrations is far from a given, as your integrations can break for a number of reasons; an API response can come back in an unexpected format, an API can change in a backwards-incompatible way, and so on. 

Being able to diagnose and address the root cause of any integration issue is technically complex and requires expertise on a given API, which can lead the integration to remain broken for an extended period.

An integrated application or a feature within an application gets discontinued

As your team scales its software integrations, it can be hard to monitor individual integrations. 

Unfortunately, monitoring at the individual level is, in many cases, essential as without it, you can’t proactively identify and account for critical issues—like an integrated application/feature getting deprecated—on time.

Communicating errors and remediation steps back to clients quickly and clearly

In the case of product integrations, many of the integration errors can be on your clients’ side (e.g. bad API key) and require their involvement. 

Being able to identify this error and the specific set of steps that the client can take to resolve it takes time. Moreover, the engineer who identifies the issue and the remediation steps needs to communicate this information to the customer success manager (who’d then share this with the affected client), extending the time it takes to resolve the issue even further. 

Related: Common API integration challenges

Difficult to scale

The process of building and maintaining just a single integration can be extremely complex, tedious, and lengthy; for instance, building just a single integration can take a whole team of engineers several weeks, if not months. 

How long it takes companies to bring an integration to market

Considering that you’ll likely need to implement and maintain dozens, and, eventually, hundreds of integrations over time, you’ll inevitably end up with a significant backlog of integrations and a high share of engineers who are overburdened with integration-related tasks. 

Keeping up with 3rd-party API changes

As mentioned earlier, it can be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to closely follow individual 3rd-party APIs as you scale. 

Third-party API documentation is also often difficult to navigate, outdated, or simply absent. So even if you have resources available to keep tabs on every 3rd-party API over time, your team’s ability to forecast and prevent issues is naturally compromised.

Related: The top challenges of integrating SaaS applications 

Avoid any software integration challenge with Merge

Merge, the leading product integration platform, lets you offer a whole category of software integrations by building to a single unified API, whether that’s HRIS, CRM, file storage, ticketing, etc. 

The platform also offers a suite of Integrations Management features, like automated issue detection and fully-searchable logs, to help your customer success managers identify, diagnose, and troubleshoot issues with clients independently, quickly, and easily. 

Finally, Merge provides integration maintenance support, which includes a whole team of partner engineers who are on-call 24/7 to troubleshoot and prevent any issues.

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