A systems integrator is a company or resource that specializes in bringing together component subsystems into a whole and ensuring that those subsystems function together, a practice known as system integration. Systems integrators may work in many fields but the term is generally used in the information technology (IT) field, the defense industry, or in media.
Systems integrator generally have to be good at matching customers’ needs with existing products. An inductive reasoning aptitude is useful for quickly understanding how to operate a system or a GUI. A systems integrator will tend to benefit from being a generalist, knowing a little bit about a large number of products. Systems integration includes a substantial amount of diagnostic and troubleshooting work. The ability to research existing products and software components is also helpful. 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.
In the defense industry, the job of ‘Systems Integration’ engineer is growing in importance as defense systems become more ‘connected’. As well as integrating new systems, the task of integrating current systems is attracting a lot of research and effort. It is only in recent years that systems have started to be deployed that can interconnect with each other; most systems were designed as ‘stovepipe’ designs with no thought to future connectivity.
The current problem is how to harness all the information available, from the various information generators (or sensors) into one complete picture.
As well as the design of the actual interfaces much effort is being put into presenting the information in a useful manner. The level of information, needed by the different levels in the military structure, and the relevance of the information (information can become outdated in seconds) is so variable that it may be necessary to have more than one system connected.