Integration. What’s in it for you?
Whether you’re in charge of maintaining the status quo, leading your business to new heights, or preparing it for sale or further investment, integration will play a vital ‘make it happen’ role.
A well-architected and monitored integration layer will increase your organisational productivity (goodbye to double handling), decrease reporting errors and outputs due to manual processes (hello to a new level of accuracy), and improve your competitive advantage and customer relationships. These are all great outcomes, and achieving them will please your CFO, amongst others, no end.
However, while the value of integration is clear, and despite business leaders knowing what needs to be done – and why, there’s a gap between expectation and execution.
In an article from 2020, Forbes wrote that ‘over 80% of enterprise Business Operations leaders say data integration is critical to ongoing operations.’
Yet, despite this strong show of willingness to invest in integration, in the same year, Computerworld New Zealand reported: ‘Just over one-third of businesses have successfully integrated all of their primary business applications, according to the SMB Group, a market research and analyst firm focused on technology adoption among small and medium-sized businesses. Just under one in five say none of their primary applications share data and workflows.’
Integration is obviously only part of the commitment to the larger digital transformation picture – (but it’s an important one). And your role as CEO role is critical to orchestrating the multiple people within the business who will be charged with driving the value from your data – from selecting technologies to strategies and funding for development and support.
And if you are the CEO of an organisation struggling with integration but keen to become a truly data-driven business, you’ll undoubtedly be frustrated with the lack of progress towards data-nirvana. Especially as poor integration also hinders your professional performance in these challenging times.
In an ideal world, your data will flow seamlessly between your line-of-business systems, departments, and branches. You won't have to wait until month's end to see the most up-to-date figures. You’ll have fingertip access to complete, real-time and historical metrics from across your organisation all day, every day. You can make timely, well-informed, insightful, and proactive decisions and provide scheduled or on-demand reports to the board that you can confidently stand behind.
Most of all, integration gives you the power to transform your organisation into one driven by data. So, every decision or innovation is fuelled by genuine market, performance and operational insights, not intuition or late-night inspirations.