From application integration to enterprise integration and everything in-between, it’s no secret that enterprises need an integration strategy to succeed. However, the truth is that there is an impactful difference between good integration and bad integration.
What if we told you that difference can affect your bottom line by as much as $500,000 a year?
That’s right, a half-million dollars.
That’s just how critical the secure and reliable exchange of data is to your enterprise, and just one of many reasons to ensure your integration processes are running efficiently.
Connected digital ecosystems are necessary to build connections, drive transformation, and improve business outcomes. An enterprise that has all its business processes running smoothly is one that is going to take advantage of all that digital transformation has to offer.
Here is a summary of digital ecosystems explained:
- What is a Business Ecosystem?
- What is a Digital Ecosystem?
- Example of a Digital Ecosystem
- Three Ways Digital Ecosystems Drive Value
- A Digitally Transformed Future
What is a Business Ecosystem?
A business ecosystem is the network of organizations - including suppliers, distributors, competitors, customers, regulators, and other players involved in the delivery of a product or service through cooperation or competition.
The term business ecosystem has been widely adopted by the tech community, but it only accounts for part of a given business's full ecosystem, referring to the digital network of trading partners, customers, and third-party vendors outside your four walls.
What about inside your four walls?
Organizations must also have functionality that allows for the interoperability of their internal business systems and applications. From automated processes to end-to-end visibility, companies have extensive interaction requirements and need to move data between their disparate internal systems. In short, they have to connect their entire digital ecosystem.
What is a Digital Ecosystem?
A digital ecosystem consists of internal solutions, applications, and systems, along with external trading partners, suppliers, customers, third-party data service providers, and all their respective technologies.
The digital ecosystem is a dynamic, interconnected network that necessitates reliable communication among customers and trading partners. When a digital ecosystem is integrated, it allows enterprises to leverage new and legacy technologies – and build automated processes around them – to continually grow a business.
An integrated digital ecosystem enables organizations to create end-to-end business flows from the “outside-in” by combining B2B, application, and data integrations to the entire business network.
Digital ecosystems put you in a position to focus on driving business value by eliminating frustrations with outdated, legacy B2B solutions. You want your relationships with your customers to always be better today than they were yesterday. A digital ecosystem adds true value to those relationships and consistently helps you meet customer SLAs, quickly surface exceptions, and provide fast remediation to ensure your business stays on track.
A single, modern solution gives you the tools as a complete and independent platform that spans all integration use cases to deliver automated tools and intuitive controls to build, operate, and govern big data, cloud, application, and B2B integration platforms. The result: Your critical business data flows are improved throughout your digital ecosystem in a modern, frictionless way.
Example of a Digital Ecosystem
One business ecosystem example is a manufacturer that must do business with its source vendors, suppliers, and R&D teams to make the product, its transportation and logistics carriers, a distribution partner, and various online marketplaces to sell it on, including Amazon, Facebook Marketplace, and its own e-commerce storefront.
All these external B2B and cloud connections, however, create EDI and non-EDI data flows that must be integrated into its own internal ERP, TMS, WMS, and EDI systems. The result is an internal and external network of data sources spanning systems, applications, people, and devices.
A digital healthcare ecosystem comprises every touchpoint on the journey to patient care.
A modern ecosystem integration solution for healthcare organizations enables these organizations to maintain industry and governmental compliance requirements by securely connecting and integrating data to keep pace with the ever-growing need for privacy, security, and data governance.
Ensuring those things means healthcare companies must be able to flexibly connect their ecosystems of providers, patients, government organizations, and financial partners. Thus, a healthcare organization with an integrated digital ecosystem must support any connectivity requirements with protocol depth and preconfigured connections to easily onboard all these other businesses, facilities, and partners.
Patient confidentiality also is critically important, and a digital ecosystem enables healthcare organizations to track, report, log, and control sensitive medical, pharmaceutical, and patient data. An integrated healthcare ecosystem, then, ensures organizations have the documentation and the audit capabilities to easily comply with HIE, HIPAA/HITECH, Meaningful Use, Omnibus Final Rule, and other mandates.
Three Ways Digital Ecosystems Drive Value
Digital ecosystems enable enterprises to drive business processes more efficiently in a fully manageable manner. Here are the top three ways that digitally integrated ecosystems drive value.
1. Create New Sources of Revenue
Digital ecosystems drive new revenue streams through consolidated ecosystem integration, with which organizations can track and analyze comprehensive data flowing through the business and use it to create new products and services. Such integration not only strengthens current revenue-generating processes it also creates value-added services for new revenue channels.
2. Lower Costs Through Improved Business Processes
Companies that have embraced digital transformation and ecosystem integration platforms are also finding measurable cost savings. Besides improving workflow efficiency, end-to-end integration improves your working relationships with customers and partners and reduces operational costs due to automated data processes and business-wide efficiency.
3. Increase Speed of Technology Adoption
An ecosystem integration strategy enables enterprises to fully embrace new technology in previously cumbersome ways. Now, companies can take advantage of modern cloud services and SaaS solutions rather than rely on outdated legacy software that cannot keep up with the pace of the enterprise today.
Introducing Digital Ecosystem Integration
Modern organizations demand more than just simple EDI, B2B, and application connections. They demand full-service integration that helps them not only connect but actively participate in their important business relationships.
Making connections to the applications and data across your entire ecosystem of customers, partners, suppliers, and third-party systems is only the first step. It’s the end-to-end integration – executing data movement, data transformation, and elegant data orchestration all at once – that’s the hard part. And it’s why a digital ecosystem integration strategy is even more critical for businesses in 2021 and beyond.
A Digitally Transformed Future
To better serve customers, drive revenue, and get ahead of the competition, and enabled ecosystem puts businesses in a position to win more business. When companies reap the rewards that come from a digital transformation strategy and digital ecosystem environment, it is because they were sure to carefully plan and roadmap their vision to drive business.
A recent survey of 100 IT decision-makers shows the gap that exists between the strategies and solutions that are required to support the enterprise in 2020. New business demands – many brought by outside forces – are putting additional pressure on organizations to leverage better ecosystem integration solutions. Check out the survey report to see how other IT pros are managing and how they are looking to transform their businesses through a digital ecosystem.