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2017-08-10

How Technological Innovation is Driving Enterprise Integration Needs

How Technological Innovation is Driving Enterprise Integration Needs

During the past few years, frequent innovations in technology have brought a slew of changes in the integration landscape. Organizations are moving away from an ‘all-in-one technology approach’ towards best-in-breed suite approach to fill operational needs on a niche basis. Gartner estimates that 20% of large organizations will be using complex hybrid applications by 2018 to create an overarching business benefits framework. The software functionality gaps have created a pressing need for a modern integration approach that not only deals with pervasive integration needs, but also collaborates and moves technology with the speed of business.

Entities evaluate software and functions on different parameters and decide what works best for them. However, specialized software work in vacuum and operate as a data island, making interdepartmental data sharing extremely difficult. Different segments of data ownership prevent teams from collaborating and developing unified reports. In such scenarios, combining HR, operations data, sales or accounting data becomes a tough task. For this, organizations need to spend huge amount of money on manual coding flows for piping data to far-flung corners of the organization.

Smart and forward-thinking organizations need to focus more on partner collaboration rather than consolidation. Amazon, Facebook and Google, and Apple are offering the next generation of software for work. To interoperate effectively and with fragmented suites of applications, organizations will require end-to-end B2B solutions that ensure IT management and collaboration from a single source view.

Today’s organizations require an integrated framework for managing organization-wide core functions like payroll, benefits administration, sales and performance management. The modern integration framework should not just focus on consolidation, but it must be designed to strategically collaborate the software and users in a harmonious way.

Innovations in technology are opening up new challenges for businesses and at the same time placing a greater responsibility on integration vendors to relentlessly develop responses for emerging integration needs. Here are some key capabilities to look out for in a modern integration approach

  1. Pre-built connectors for Deep Integrations: Nearly 60% of an organization’s time is spent in creating and managing integrations. Freeing up this time can allow business teams to focus more on innovation. Integration needs to be done not on a project basis, but on event basis. A modern integration approach must carry advanced controls to develop integrations between the cloud and on-premise business systems like ERP, CRM, Sales ODS, Data Marts, etc.
  2. Process Integration: One of the most important performance requirement is the ability to create quick integrations with partners across and beyond the organization. An integration platform should integrate sum total of business functions and processes to set up a collaborative and connected business network. It should allow business users to automate processes involved — creating human workflows, exception and error handling, data validation and routing, last-mile integration into backend systems, etc.
  3. Centralized View: An integration framework must provide a central view of the different layers of the technology stack. From a centralized interface the system should enable users to collaborate strategically. The unified view should ensure that best of business systems are working smoothly with external systems like Dynamics GP, QuickBooks, Salesforce, etc.
  4. Self Service Integration: With conventional approaches, it is difficult to manage the proliferation of business applications in an organization. A great deal of money goes into deploying, testing, and building integrations as a lot of developers are hired to set up point to point integrations. Data integration experts view that a ‘Self Service Integration’ based on ‘Hub & Spoke approach’ is more strategic for different integration use cases. Self-service integration allows normal business users to manage complex IT environment and build interfaces in whole new ways without specific engineering resources. Moreover, templated key capabilities can help users in removing redundant workflows to make the system more simplified, standardized, and scalable.