Definition

systems integrator (SI)

A systems integrator (SI) is an individual or business that builds computing systems for clients by combining hardware and software products from multiple vendors. Using a systems integrator, a company can align cheaper, pre-configured components and off-the-shelf software to meet key business goals, as opposed to more expensive, customized implementations that may require original programming or manufacture of unique components. Creation of these information systems may include designing or building a customized architecture or application, integrating it with new or existing hardware, packaged and custom software, and communications infrastructure. Some systems integrators working in specialized areas, like SAP installations or upgrades, may offer more customization for specific applications.

Systems integration has traditionally been a crucial specialty in the defense contracting industry. Proprietary, closed systems needs to be upgraded or, as is often the case, legacy hardware or software must be preserved within modern computing networks, graphical user interfaces (GUIs) or hardware connection standards.

This was last updated in July 2007

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Hello Margaret, thank you for the article. Another development when it comes to System Integration is the advancement in platforms called IPAAS. These are specific platforms designed to enable easy integration with cloud based products. In the last 5 years open source cloud apps have grown so this new industry has emerged. For example we run a platform called Dsync to help system integration between commerce systems like Magento with xml products. Probably worth noting as well that with cloud integration the cost to integrate systems is considerably lower due to not requiring as much on premise support and engagement.
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