To remain competitive in today’s digital business landscape and to better serve customers, enterprises across industries are seeking new approaches to leveraging their data. Without a digital transformation plan in place that capitalizes on your customer and partner interactions –and thus, data – companies risk falling behind.
Retail businesses are taking on initiatives that include omnichannel selling, as well as big data analytics and cross-shipping, to improve the customer experience. Logistics organizations are looking to adopt IoT to track every step of the supply chain and use the visibility and trends to improve delivery. Financial services firms are employing Open Banking to integrate partners and offer customized services to customers.
However, when a company is unable to handle the types of workflows and integrations they need to execute these initiatives, it drastically hinders its ability to differentiate from the competition. Customers and trading partners are becoming more digital than ever, so enterprises must be able to handle the different business processes those relationships require and enable their ecosystems.
Business owners and supply chain operations teams need to take the lead and establish an integration strategy that helps them capitalize in the era of the cloud and remain competitive.
How to Scale into New Digital Business Use Cases
Since so many different companies have begun some form of a digital transformation, in order to truly offer those customers added value, enterprises must adapt and ensure that they can easily scale into new digital business use cases. But first, there are a few things that companies need to do.
- Consolidate, consolidate, consolidate
Companies who embark upon digital transformation must consolidate their disparate and legacy systems, applications, and integrations in order to streamline data flows. Companies that consolidate sprawling systems gain the ability to leverage digital technology to better serve customers and remain ahead of their competition.
- Automation is king
In addition to consolidation, enterprises must automate core data flow processes to reduce the risks caused by home-grown solutions or manual processes. Automation cuts down on the extensive time and effort previously required to deliver communications and better optimize and leverage data.
Real-time, end-to-end data visibility and control for IT and business users is increasingly critical. Key stakeholders must be able to view their data within its entire life cycle with contextualized information based on roles.
Consolidated Integration Approaches
Traditional approaches to integration, while able to get the job done for decades, are no longer enough to agilely meet your modern demands. Business initiatives like omnichannel selling, big data analytics, and cross-shipping models leverage various systems and solutions and are better met with consolidated integration. Companies that don’t consolidate risk losing out on added business value.
Some of the common integration approaches that companies utilize include:
- Outsourcing B2B integration to a vendor
VANs often are unable to innovate and evolve, while proving to be costly and don’t allow room for control.
- Spending on software, hardware, and resources
A legacy IT environment is rigid and outdated and can be very expensive upfront. Additionally, these environments often require specialized skillsets to manage and maintain and do not always integrate smoothly with newer technologies and services, specifically cloud applications.
- Building and sustaining in-house integrations
Because these in-house models are customized, they are difficult to scale without a team of developers and resources to manage them.
While these integration approaches might appear suitable on the surface, the truth is they each present a level of challenges that enterprises must overcome. Too often, after an enterprise purchases an integration solution, they are proven to be ineffective and unable to support the enterprise’s geo-distributed ecosystem of partners, customers, and suppliers. Many integration solutions also lack business content and context, meaning they don’t provide the right levels of transparency, which limits enterprises from recognizing the true impact of their business processes.
Savvy organizations eliminate those struggles by consolidated their integration and ensuring their businesses are equipped to handle the business initiatives mentioned above, including omnichannel, big data, and cross-shipping and drop shipping. Additionally, consolidated integration solutions improve your ability to meet compliance mandates and SLAs, improve customer and supplier relationships, increase visibility into your enterprise’s data, enable better adherence to corporate security policies, and reduce your exposure to data loss. They also save you money when you don’t have to manage and maintain a plethora of disparate technologies.
Breaking the Status Quo
When a company like Amazon sets the new tone for how modern businesses must operate, organizations need to step up and adapt to compete and win. A modern integration approach enables you to offer better services to partners and customers (and their own customers) through faster data processing and deeper insights driven by information and analytics that provide true and measurable results.
Cleo Integration Cloud enables the world’s leading organizations to accelerate cloud-to-cloud and cloud-to-ground integration processes to easily integrate applications, storage repositories, and business platforms. Through Cleo integration, all your data is connected in an elegant way that better powers your cloud, on-premise, or hybrid environments and delivers more value to your business and to your end customers. Discover the power of ecosystem-driven integration and how businesses use technology to remain competitive.