How Do You Heal a Fractured Enterprise?

Competition these days is no longer just about cost or quality; it is about companies offering entirely new digital business models and better customer experiences that are based on insights. How do organizations compete on that basis? They do it by unlocking the various data sources that are imprisoned within IT and business departments, systems, and databases.

Knowledge-powered businesses that can monetize their data are the ones disrupting the market. As a result, many businesses are actively working on an insights strategy: using real-time capture, analysis, and distribution of data to drive insights. However, it is not possible to establish your data as a currency and exploit it to the fullest when you have a fractured enterprise.

So what is a fractured enterprise? In a fractured enterprise, your IT department invests heavily in long-haul projects such as modernizing the back office while business users are pulling out credit cards and scurrying for cloud-based, front-office, self-service applications to keep up with customer demands. As both sides of the business operate in isolation, the enterprise becomes more siloed, fragmented, and chaotic. As more chaos is introduced, you waste resources and your capacity to innovate deteriorates. You cannot adapt quickly enough to address and compete with new business models.

The Healing Power of Integration

So, how do you mend the fractures that are stopping your enterprise from innovating? To do this, you need to break down the usual constraints of locked data and truly integrate and connect everything, operationalizing data from all sources.

Yes, integration. Who would have thought we would be talking about integration in 2020? Wasn’t that done years ago? Well, yes, there was 1990s-style integration, which was then followed by 2000s-style integration. But, today, we have the biggest, most fragmented array of things that need integrating—from applications that are on-premise, such as ERP and manufacturing execution systems, to analytics and APIs in the cloud or IoT devices on the edge.

Only integration can make the fractured enterprise whole. Simple words, but what a powerful statement, and what a dramatic implication being “whole” has for the enterprise in today’s digital economy. When you truly connect everything, you need fewer resources to manage all your data sources. And, with a centralized view, you’re no longer gathering data—you’re building data insights. You can spot opportunities, operationalize data in real time, and apply analytical patterns to automate and improve hundreds of operations. You have greater capacity to innovate and become tomorrow’s disruptor in the market.

Total Integration—Truly Connected

Total integration is what makes a fractured enterprise whole; some call it the IT and operation technology convergence. Whatever you call it, total integration is what is needed to build a truly connected enterprise.

Enterprise boundaries have evolved from on-premise, to the cloud, to the edge—wherever a company has an asset or digital sensor is now the boundary of that company. Extend that boundary to include your partners, clients, and your clients’ customers. Extend that further to include data from any third-party sources: weather, events, or public opinion. You can see why many companies struggle to get actionable insights from the data.

But what if your organization was healed? You could unlock and explore the value of your resources. Think how effective and accurate your business decisions, production, or maintenance decisions would be if everything was connected, analyzed, and reviewed by those closest to the issue. In other words, you could operationalize your data and turn it into actionable insights.

Integration is fundamental, but not just any old integration works. Integration must be neutral and independent. Integration must connect applications from any vendor hosted anywhere, sensors from any manufacturer on any shop floor, or up any mountain, down any valley. Integration must deliver maximum customer choice.

There is no way that an enterprise can have the flexibility and speed to successfully and profitably conduct business—especially in IoT environments—if they are not masters of their own IT destiny. Companies need independent integration that keeps their choices open, protecting decades of IT investment, and enabling a true agility layer that lays the foundation for successful IoT.

Integration is more than the sum of the parts that it ties together; it is the only path to monetizing your data. Integration allows you to use your data as the currency that can provide actionable insights—and crush the competition.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay.



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