Businesses are rapidly moving toward implementing digital transformation for gaining a standout presence in their market. Digital transformation looks lucrative for two of its core benefits- improvements in operational efficiency and reduction in the cost of doing business.
According to a report by IDG, 89 percent of enterprises plan or already have adopted a digital-first strategy by weaving data analytics, private cloud, and mobile technology into their operations. The most innovative of these businesses go the extra mile to adopt and innovate with the latest tech, including artificial intelligence, machine learning, the Internet of Things, and virtual reality.
Even when there are several advantages to taking on a digital strategy, the path to digital transformation can be consuming and risky in terms of both cost and time investments. When businesses have worked for long on traditional systems, they face calcified practices, legacy processes, and resistance to change from within the organization.
While so much right can happen with digital transformation, there is also a lot of threat in what could go wrong.
Why Integration is The First Critical Component in Digital Transformation
Digital transformation is not as easy as just upgrading your IT business platforms. Enterprises are a complex patchwork of systems stuck together with file transfers, batch processing, as no single system does all a business needs.
Over time these systems get outdated and increasingly complex. Any technological upgrade or replacement in any of the components can create a ripple side-effect in multiple other parts of your business. This alone is enough to frustrate your employees and impact the experience of customers who expect it to be exceptional.
Integration is what closes the gap between the technology enablement you want and the legacy systems you currently have. Systems integration is a sophisticated undertaking and an opportunity to make real change within a business.
It is critical for businesses moving toward digital transformation to first focus on integrations. Create a team of experts in agile delivery methods to own and rule integration within your organization. If not, integration can become an impediment in your transformation journey instead of a catalyst.
How Insufficient and Improper Integration Can Hamper Digital Transformation
As enterprises begin modernizing and digitizing their operations and processes, application and cloud integration issues are springing up. According to a recent report, these issues are costing businesses between $250,000 and $500,000 annually. Four percent of businesses reported that poor integration costs them as much as $1 million annually.
The 2019 State of Ecosystem and Application Integration Report concluded that there is a costly gap in the solutions and strategies required to support modern businesses. These startling statistics convince us that insufficient or poor integration can impede digital transformation and cost companies instead of making things cost-effective.
With enough time and money at hand, businesses can successfully integrate two systems of any size. But, would the investment be worth it? A cost vs. benefit analysis becomes a vital part of the equation in that case. Before embarking on integration, it is important for enterprises to determine the optimal level of integration for each component’s seamless asset management.
It is highly recommended to take a phased approach to multiple systems integration in order to reduce project complexity and costs.
Code-heavy Integration Does Not Solve the Purpose of Agility and Flexibility
If an enterprise has its data trapped in siloes, cloud apps become disconnected and processes are fragmented. In such a case, digital transformation lives and dies a fantasy.
Time-tested strategies for data integration take various formats. Organizations can:
- Mix a number of point-to-point integration tools
- Engage integration specialists to operate complex legacy systems with long development cycles
- Have their developers and data architects endlessly write code to construct, maintain, and repair data pipelines.
Such approaches that involve conventional methods are rarely sustainable. As the volume and variety of data grow, code-heavy integration will increasingly become useless.
Old, heavy-code integration modes will keep companies from engaging in meaningful analytics as these efforts hamper a holistic view of the customer, stifle product development, and decelerate uncovering of newer opportunities.
What your enterprise needs is a more modern way of enabling integration and digital transformation for sustained change.
Integration as a Means to Digital Transformation
Several scenarios can impact how you approach integration and digital transformation. It is imperative for businesses to first wire together disparate systems, entities, endpoints, and processes, both horizontally and vertically, to allow for a seamless flow of data and information across the entire value chain.
Enterprise often succumbs to using patching applications to hold these systems together, thereby exposing the enterprise to a lot of risks, including poor alignment in old and new systems and legacy debt. Enterprises may also have to repeat the entire integration process every time a new component is added or replaced in the infrastructure.
In essence, this approach can lead to constant back and forth, unpredictable integration costs, and a need for integration expertise at any time. Since integration involves interlocking several systems with their own mechanisms for compliance and data security, data can remain prone during the integration process for lack of uniformity in its security.
Cloud migration is a critical step in digital transformation. But, the initiative can result in a cloud counterpart of siloed legacy systems, which is a common scenario when enterprises invest in different cloud platforms and apps.
Therefore, if and when an organization plans for digital transformation, integration should be the first key focus area. Without proper and sufficient integration, digital transformation can turn out to be a nightmare for both staff and customers.
At Acuvate, we make integration happen for enterprises of all shapes and sizes. Schedule a call with our experts to know more!
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