“Pervasive integration” is a popular term, if not already an expected strategy for most enterprises. For businesses moving into the Postmodern ERP Era, doing so without a pervasive approach to integration is harmful in the short-term, and can be disastrous further down the road. Before jumping into the benefits of this strategy though, it’s helpful to have a quick definition of what “pervasive integration” is (and isn’t).
- spreading widely throughout an area or a group of people.
As one might imagine, pervasive integration is about taking a holistic approach that connects every aspect of the business – from back-end techs and integration specialists to business leaders and decision-makers needing insights. It’s a response to the growing complexity of digital business ecosystems where the need to connect an ever-growing amount of endpoints at an unprecedented level of scale can easily throw an integration solution out of alignment with business objectives. Integration experts have recommended best practices for how to go about this strategy – but it’s important to understand just why integration needs to pervasive.
Pervasive integration is not a short-term approach to quick-fix problems. In the past, integration has been seen as an afterthought, a job to be handled once the main decisions on business transformation have been made. While businesses might have been able to get away with this in the past, the sheer amount of transformation and the rapid pace at which it’s happening make this approach outdated and a major risk for rigid, hard to change systems that can end up being disastrously expensive later on.
To understand more thoroughly how and why pervasive integration brings business value, read on below:
Improve Business Agility and Speed
Speed is key in this day and age. For example, the ability to “plug and play” with new SaaS applications or decrease time-to-market for a product launch can drastically change the course of an enterprise. To keep up with SaaS applications that run in real-time, a robust integration solution that addresses latency issues without compromising data integrity is crucial. An important part of defining pervasive integration for your organization is understanding where speed adds the most value. Is it in receiving to-the-minute real-time Sales reports? Optimizing data flow for your security team to respond to threats faster? Or a faster pipeline between your CRM and product team for faster updates and patches to your product?
Wherever the speed is needed, pervasive integration strategies help to improve the necessary tooling, which will look different depending on business objectives. It could mean adding certain capabilities, or moving data to different locations so it can be accessed when it’s most useful. In any case, ensuring business objectives with regard to agility are reflected in your integration approach adds value by decreasing the time needed.
Enable Employees With DIY Integration
The days of integration tasks being performed only by integration specialists are over. As the number of endpoints increases, along with the need for integration across all departments and LOBs, instituting an integration solution that empowers non-specialists to perform simple tasks lightens the load and can massively increase integration productivity. Organizations are considering where the most impactful instances of DIY integration can happen along their chains and how to leverage new technologies and friendlier interfaces to implement them.
Smarter Responses to Business Moments
Monitoring business events in real-time allow a business to see threat and opportunities, and respond to them in an intelligent way. With a variety of tools at the disposal of leaders in Enterprise IT, there are numerous applications that provide this data-driven insight, and are able to do so at the speed needed to be useful: Business Intelligence applications are one of the most exciting and transformative areas impacting decision making, and CRM applications have long been relied on by sales leaders and continue to add value.
A pervasive integration strategy is a key to making sure that these insights are reaching the right people at the right time. In this regard, it’s important to consider business objectives for your organization and understand how integration flows and data consistency impacts them. Consider the full spectrum of tools available – mobile BI may be a game-changer for sales leaders, for example, while connecting IoT devices to your supply chain could save thousands over a few quarters.
Connect With External Entities
External organizations that work with your organization might include business partners, clients, suppliers, and any other partnerships or business connections. For example, a loan company may want to connect to a credit agency to determine a new customer’s credit rating when making decisions on approving a loan. This adds another layer of complexity that isn’t addressed by outdated integration solutions. Pervasive integration builds out robust strategies for these types of connections, from API management and control to complex security considerations.
Ready to make your integration strategy a pervasive one? Get in touch with an expert.