Organizations today face ever increasing pressures from new market entrants, game changing events in every industry, governmental changes to regulations, and much more, making the ability to maintain lean operations critical.
Enterprise Integration is a process that will help your business achieve and maintain lean operations. In fact, Enterprise Integration is a key pillar for supporting any innovation mandate.
How can Enterprise Integration help overcome business challenges?
Enterprise Integration is focused on optimizing business operations to provide your staff with the right information at the right place and at the right time. This enables efficient communications between team members, machines, and applications. Implementing Enterprise Integration will involve all aspects of your business operations including business process, applications, and data. Doing so will help you overcome or effectively deal with the following business challenges/issues that you might be facing.
Common business challenges faced by organizations
· Market Globalization
The globalization of today’s market’s means that integration is only going to become more critical and complex for business survival. This is as much true for small-to-medium businesses (SMBs) as it is for larger national and international organizations.
The physical barriers to doing business (whether local, regional, national or international) are rapidly dissolving. This is creating new opportunities and challenges in how businesses interact within their markets.
· Business-to-Business Relationships
As markets have grown, businesses have found a need to develop partner relationships and maximize them to stay competitive. There will be times when working together makes sense. Your business operations need to be ready to effectively manage a business-to-business (B2B) relationship with partner organizations.
· Business-to-Government Relationships
As with B2B relationships, SMBs are finding it beneficial to develop and/or enhance their relationships with governments. These B2G interactions may be supplying goods and services to governments or they may be regulatory in nature. Keeping your business systems tightly integrated will make it easier for your organization to deal with government requirements such as financial, security and others.
· Critical Business Applications
Every business relies on one of more critical applications used to drive business operations and help plan for the future. Often, these applications are thought of individually and are managed this way. In the current business environment, using business-critical applications in isolation prevents an organization from evaluating and planning its big-picture goals. Businesses will need to rethink how their applications work together.
Without an organized strategy for managing current applications, organizations will move further and further away from creating a streamlined portfolio that supports specific steps in the business value chain.
· Increasing Volumes of Business Data
Data is growing and changing at an exponential rate. As this generational shift in the treatment and use of data occurs, the practices your business uses to collect and relate this data must evolve and mature as well. Currently, less than one-third of companies are able to deliver the real-time data that they need to make business decisions.
Massive data sets, also known as big data, are now being captured, stored and analyzed instead of being overlooked or destroyed. With continuing growth in the volume of data being captured, there is a rising need to change how data is treated and consumed by organizations.
· Growing Data Complexity
The trend over the immediate future is for an explosion in the growth of unstructured data. Processing this data is more difficult than structured data since it is presented in a non-standard format.
Notably, social media data and data pulled from web traffic history are two of the largest growing data sets moving to the forefront of business analytics. Businesses are also becoming more granular in the types of operational activities and behaviours that they monitor quantitatively.
3 key areas to look at when creating your Enterprise Integration strategy
Enterprise integration needs to bring together business process, applications, and data. To create a meaningful enterprise integration strategy and business case, we recommend that your team looks at your organization through the following three lenses:
1. Business Process
The ultimate goal of an Enterprise Integration strategy is to provide a framework that enables the current business environment to function as seamlessly as possible, allowing for flexibility when processes need to evolve. Examine your business capability and process and create a manageable scope that allows you to reach appropriate depth and detail when describing the business activity. This will create a foundation that makes subsequent mapping progressively easier.
2. Application Integration
After outlining the critical business processes, your team can identify the applications that are directly supporting each business process. Placing the applications alongside the process will highlight opportunities for simplifying activities through reuse or adding new components to enable new capabilities.
3. Data Integration
Data and information that is ingested, transformed, and stored throughout the organization are the assets that enable business users to make decisions. Round out your integration landscape by identifying the data elements produced and used at each step of the process. This will help highlight where data integration can be improved as part of the overall strategy.
Let Us Show You How Enterprise Integration Can Be Effective for Your Business
A successful Enterprise Integration strategy allows your business operations to be optimized and helps your teams be more productive. The process to create a strategy can seem daunting. Our team of experts have worked with organizations to help them understand how Enterprise Integration can be a game-changing benefit. Contact us today and we will be happy to discuss how Enterprise Integration can become a key to your business success.