Cloud & Engineering

Why integration is key to digital transformation

Posted by Dean Robertson on 18 July 2017

Integration, Blog, Vision & Digital Transformation

Technology is advancing faster than ever before and you are expected to keep up with its progress. That is at the heart of digital transformation. Your customers and staff alike have devoured a social media world where there’s an app for everything. Now, customers expect your business to interact with them with as little friction as possible, throughout their entire transaction. Staff expect their internal IT platforms to support them in their desire to satisfy the customer.  No one accepts ‘the computer system’ as an excuse for a poor customer experience or inflexibility and delays in delivering your organisation’s services.

Meanwhile, in the real world…

It’s not as simple as just upgrading your IT business platforms. Enterprises are often a patchwork quilt of systems stitched together with overnight file transfers and batch processing, added to over time, as no single system could do everything you need. Overtime these systems become outdated and increasingly complex to maintain, and any technology upgrade or replacement can trigger knock-on impacts in multiple parts of your business. That alone can frustrate your staff and impact the very customers who are expecting great things.


Think how many systems your business’s value chain includes.

Whether you are providing health care or financial services, any customer interaction will touch multiple technology systems. You’ll be running and measuring marketing activities in one system, handling customer enquiries in another, collating and recording further detailed data in yet another system. Your home lone enquiries might come in through your website and CRM, but the initial loan assessment and qualification needs to be done in your lending management platform.  The risk assessment and credit decisions are in yet another system and potentially outside in a partner’s system who you pay to manage that complexity for you.  Further yet, another system might manage the document generation and funds disbursement …you get the picture.


This bank’s business value chain hasn’t even touched the secondary, supporting activities that provide staff with the resources and infrastructure they need, pays their salaries and manages the organisation’s cash flow. It’s extremely common in every enterprise for information to touch five or more different systems, from a multitude of vendors, with different dependencies and levels of integration.


The smallest change in the way you capture loan enquiries can cause total process corruption in your downstream lending management platforms. No wonder digital transformation is starting to look complicated!


What’s the solution?

How do you close the chasm between the technology enablement you want and the systems you already have? While the world is raving about machine learning and chatbots, you’re stuck with the overhead of maintaining and managing a legacy integrated technology environment and all of its moving parts.  Do you go out and look for the ultimate system to consolidate everything (or even a few things) into one? Do you spend time researching and carefully planning your upgrades to maintain as much integration as possible? Do you pick the worst pain point, focus your digital transformation on that and hope that integrations will still be compatible?


Or is it time to pause and look at the flow of information across your systems, to uncover new opportunities? This exercise alone will highlight friction points or areas of improvement that might not have been obvious at first. The more you can automate, speed up and improve every step in the value chain, the more delighted your customer will be. Analysing your system integration requirements is an opportunity to embrace the true benefits of digital transformation, resulting in a better end-to-end experience for your customers and for your staff.


Make integration a first class citizen in your business.

Systems integration is an intricate, necessary and opportunity-filled function of your organisation’s technology environment. Integration can hold you back from fully realising the benefits of a digital transformation, or it can be a catalyst for change. The answer is simple – make Integration a first class citizen in your business structure and create a team proficient in agile delivery methods to own this critical capability.  If you don’t have the expertise in-house to lead this team, then talk to us. We understand complex integration challenges in Australian enterprise – it’s what we’ve built our business on.  Talk to us about how to uncover integration efficiencies and automations, surfacing hidden opportunities to improve your business and amaze your customers.


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