Napoleon is widely considered a brilliant leader and battle strategist. Yet, despite an arsenal of advantages including better arms, the regularity of higher force concentrations, and the superior chess-like maneuverability of his armies across European battlefields, Napoleon eventually fell.
Waterloo is known as the site of Napoleon’s downfall. But it was the insufficiency of communication – a failure to deliver vital information concerning the proximity of enemy garrisons on the march – that deserves the lion’s share of the blame.
In the battle of conducting business today, information endures. Professionals comprising the workforce, the latest gadgets, and even the most advanced processes can never overcome a shortfall in the capacity for communication. The ability to efficiently move and share key data points throughout the enterprise enables execution of the right stuff to win. The inability to do so constrains the performance of the enterprise and chokes off the path to decisive victory.
Disruptive change is often realized as new outcomes from data-driven performance are put to use. Disruption can affect an entire organization or even alter the traditional profit-generating models of operation within an industry.
In retail for instance, big data and predictive analytics create consumer-centric applications of insight that are changing the ways brands can anticipate and then meet customer demand. To do this, retailers are unearthing value by tapping into vast legacy data stores. Company statisticians use extensive discoveries from data mining to identify the buying habits of customers. Patterns emerge illustrating the timeline of purchase decisions allowing retailers to accurately forecast demand and optimize value delivery to the customer. This new consumer-centric approach to data usage leads to significant profit increases for the company.
In healthcare, providers are using de-identified clinical data while capturing additional streams from connected medical devices and monitors, along with information originating from diagnostic, therapeutic, and custodial services. Through analysis, patterns can be converted into actionable insight. By using analytics across a broad spectrum of connected information, healthcare companies can improve treatment, develop better medication, identify potential risk, and reduce costs.
However, the benefits of data analysis in healthcare are contingent upon the ability to deliver the right data at the right time. For instance, understanding the correlation between a known side effect and re-admittance rates across a dispersed patient base being prescribed a medication requires reliable and secure information flows along every point of care. Still the possibilities spelled out in gaining such insight can lead to better prescription methods, better medical formulas, and cost-effective measures for lowering admittance rates.
The application of creative data-driven insight is not limited to just retail and healthcare. Instead, more fully integrated systems capable of facilitating the seamless flow of information show the possibility of surefire and secure operational execution in every industry.
Ultimately, the ability to become an industry leading game changer means the generation of reliably quick actionable intelligence. This in turn requires system-wide, point-to-point business information integration. From increasing efficiency along entire supply chains, to using customer intimacy, to realizing the true potential of the collaborative workspace, what does optimal information integration really constitute?
- System-to-system automation
- System-to-human workflow
- Human-to-human collaboration
Complex information delivery systems in today’s business need to enable fast and reliable interoperability to flexibly integrate business across disparate platforms, heterogeneous data formats, transfer protocols, cloud storage, big data, security policy, databases, spreadsheets, monitoring systems, and much more. Modern integration means business data originating from both traditional and new sources is transportable within and across entire enterprise data topographies. Information simply has to move – reliably and securely – and this can present a challenge.
Most organizations at some point try to answer integration demand with a mix of legacy, homegrown, and a clashing mishmash of transport infrastructure. It’s not that a company ever sets out or plans to design an overly-complex quilt of disparate elements hoping that it will somehow function together as a cohesive solution. Rather, patchwork systems usually evolve this way organically. Over time, as each new requirement is discovered and met by a new piece being added on, complexity grows, and new complications arise. Holistic integration infrastructure planning, which requires clear foresight to effectively build out your enterprise IT environment, instead comes as an afterthought.
And so, a fragile array of disparate elements is what a company tries to run a business on. Data transport is seldom guaranteed. Admins struggle with constant security and visibility insufficiencies. Worse, the system turns out to be much more expensive than the sum of its parts; upkeep requires continual maintenance, and manual processes end up consuming valuable IT resources. The longer such an implementation sits in place, the more egregious and expensive the investment becomes. Spaghetti infrastructure will never equate to smart data integration for your business.
Will you plug your next big business breakthrough into a faulty outlet? Can you build and support future systems on a pile of spaghetti? Can the mishmash of your infrastructure handle all of the new data integration requirements you need to take your company to the next level of doing business; or will you need to add an army of expensive consultants to string together yet another pasta side-dish?
What if you could serve all of your current data communication needs, and meet the requirements to future-proof your business? How can you ensure future breakthroughs, and offer flawless business execution? And what if you could have a quickly deployable enterprise-grade solution without the need for unnecessary consultants? What capabilities are needed? How will your way of doing business be revolutionized by a robust and scalable data integration system? The question is, must there be a meltdown before your company starts to consider other options? The roots of a petrified wood legacy system are wide-reaching, but not deep. What happens when entire system blows over? It is time to evolve to something radically better.
Information is the most powerful tool in the enterprise arsenal. Mightier than the sword – as it is often stated. A significant level of real-time data access signifies the capacity for company-wide optimization of rapid-response decision making and operational streamlining. Information must be consistently moved, shared, and tracked to equip your entire organization with the kind of critical knowledge necessary to make early, confident, data-driven decisions with seeming clairvoyance on not only what is happening now, but also what is going to happen. The more capable your company rapidly and accurately responds to changing business conditions, the more impactful your achievements. Integration, therefore, implies significantly more than the ability to simply satisfy connectivity needs; a company should look more holistically to delight customers and partners alike.
A holistic approach to data integration, then, must account for:
- All systems integral to business processes and enterprise operations
- All people moving, sharing, and collaborating on files
- All information flowing through the full business data topography
What we’re talking about here is a modern approach to doing business better. Comprehensive insight into enterprise information dynamics, processes and operations, and customer loyalty and behavior predictors increase organizational competitiveness and business value.