Three Ways a Lack of Application Integration Holds Your Business Back
With the proliferation of innovative business software applications, including marketing, HR, messaging and collaboration, accounting and finance, and project management tools, it’s safe to say that businesses tend to use a lot of apps. These applications are often critical for employees to help the business execute on its goals and provide the premium service to its customers, and thus, so is application integration.
The more cloud and on-premise applications are added, the more complex the central business integration data flows can become, and all these pieced-together applications run the risk of creating havoc because they are not successfully integrated within the IT environment. But because there are so many different solutions to integrate, including cloud applications and services, companies often are stuck trying to find a reliable solution that supports agile deployment and integration of best-of-breed enterprise application technology.
Companies without the right integration platform will be drowning in an application environment that is custom-coded, unscalable, and difficult to manage. But they also will learn they aren’t gaining the most business value from these application investments.
You can get a lot of data management functionality out of a new ERP, TMS, WMS, CRM, or other application, but here are three reasons why you may not be getting 100 percent value out of it:
- The application is silo-ed. Applications spun up individually and outside an enterprise’s core hold data – and any potential data-related insights – hostage in a siloed part of the business. These data “stovepipes” often happen when your IT infrastructure cannot inherently support integration for SaaS solutions and other cloud-based services.
- The integration is cumbersome. One-off integrations extend the amount of time it takes to onboard and consume an application, which in turn requires specialized skillsets to maintain. Additionally, these custom-built integrations can throw transaction errors, slow data flows, hinder partner relationships, and impede business growth.
- There’s no process automation. Organizations that lack adequate data transformation and mapping capabilities cannot accept and route partner data efficiently, and the application operates outside the automated data orchestration process. This prohibits the real-time data visibility that helps businesses expeditiously respond to customer and partner demands.
How to Improve Application Integration
Each of these scenarios presents different obstacles that an enterprise must overcome to ensure an application runs as designed and as efficiently as possible. Nobody wants an expensive ERP or CRM deployment and migration only to have it fail to further hinder business productivity.
So, how do you get the most out of your important applications, so they can fulfill their original purposes, empower employees, and create business value?
Integration is critical for success in today’s enterprise, and those enterprises that take the time to integrate applications into the rest of their environment will benefit from improved workflows and efficiencies. Enterprise IT must consolidate integrations on a single platform to centralize and streamline application data flows to help view and manage data transactions from a central place.
Additionally, smart integration technology provides a critical automation layer for these new applications, eliminating manual tasks, preventing costly errors, and speeding up operational workflows. Automation allows employees to concentrate on core business tasks, rather than cumbersome and time-consuming administrative ones.
Enterprises that successfully integrate their applications will realize the potential of these new applications quicker than they imagined through enhanced business flows. The end result is that an enterprise can rapidly onboard new applications without disrupting existing operational processes, allow enterprises to consistently meet customer requirements and SLAs, and provide real-time visibility all over business data exchanges.
How to Support IT Systems Modernization
Enterprises leverage new applications to solve business-specific challenges, but their IT infrastructures may not be able to adequately integrate and support these applications. When the time comes for your business to integrate a new app or cloud-based technology, a modern integration platform will ensure you maximize its value.
But getting new applications connected and up to speed is just one phase of IT modernization, and a leading integration platform can assist you in a number of other phases. Download “The Common-Sense Guide to IT Modernization” to learn more about what it means to modernize, how to support application integration, and how an ecosystem-driven integration platform will better enable enterprise agility, insulate your organization from disruption, and support your digital business journey.