The business world has rapidly evolved from brick-and-mortar shops to a global market where data is key. In the old days, organizations used to keep all of their data in-house.
Today, data is so pivotal it’s now the primary commodity of any company, whether their core business is energy, transportation or finance. Everything else revolves through and around it.
In order to leverage the true potential of your data, you need to be interconnected, sharing and storing your data through the cloud. Companies no longer work within a single network.
A typical enterprise organization will have at least ten networks handling different ecosystems within the company. From one network to the next, the systems that drive a company must work in harmony, which means the silo mentality that was once so prevalent doesn’t work anymore. Data must be transferred across the networks seamlessly and in close to real-time.
Burying their Head in the Sand
While digital interconnectedness is the vehicle that drives business innovation and success, some organizations are resistant to change. They avoid investing in new networks, maintaining the legacy mentality of focusing exclusively on their core business. After all, they’ve been successful so far.
Consider this scenario. An organization has found success by acquiring several other, smaller businesses. As they’ve grown, they’ve inherited those other business’ systems into their network as well.
Oftentimes, those systems perform similar tasks or might have the exact same functionality of systems they already carry. They soon realize that their company is paying more in licensing fees than what they’re actually getting out of using those systems.
Companies often cite insufficient manpower, budget concerns, interoperability and compatibility difficulties as reasons for not updating their networks.
While it may seem difficult to update their networks, not updating their networks could translate into lost business and hindered growth. With the competition working towards the future, it doesn’t take long to realize they’re struggling to keep up with the competition who chose to interconnect their networks to allow data to drive their business.
Your organization may start to experience more security risks as antiquated systems are more vulnerable to cyber attacks than newer, more sophisticated systems.
Seeing the Big Picture
For an organization that’s in a place where having interconnected systems would benefit them, it’s good to know what they’re going to get out of it.
Most important, they’re properly leveraging their biggest commodity - data. By understanding the importance of the data they have and using it efficiently, they:
- Establish quick turnarounds for their business which leads to customer loyalty and retention
- Gain a better understanding of their market audience which allows them to focus their marketing more precisely,
- Futureproof their infrastructure so that their system is safe, secure and efficient
- Open up new revenue streams that weren’t available before
This is when they start seeing the big picture. An interconnected network isn’t just about having up-to-date software. It’s about connecting all aspects of their business - connecting people, products, services, systems and networks together.
Think about what Amazon, FedEx and UPS accomplish. Collectively, they deliver approximately 29 million packages every single day. Of course, this requires an astonishing amount of coordination - from ordering and payment to warehouse storage and delivery.
Without an interconnected system, none of this would be possible, at least not to the levels of success that these organizations experience. Interconnected systems aren’t just the engine that drives a company through its daily activities. It helps organizations save money, too.
After studying the driving habits of their drivers, UPS did its best to eliminate as many left turns as possible through an algorithm. The result was tens of millions of dollars saved in fuel costs, tens of millions saved in mileage driven and 1,100 fewer trucks required in their fleet.
But interconnected systems aren’t always about saving money. They also improve customer satisfaction and loyalty. Consider how happy you are when you’re able to check the status of a special delivery or when you get that notification that includes a picture of your package sitting by your front door.
If you had a choice between a company that provided this level of service and one that didn’t, which would you choose?
Steps to Interconnectedness
When a company is ready to create an interconnected system for its business, the following steps will ensure interconnectedness will be achieved quickly and efficiently.
- Put it on the Board’s Agenda- Interconnectedness should be a top-down approach coming from C-Level leadership who can enforce the change across all channels within the organization.
- Understand that it is a Journey- Integrating a connected system across your networks isn’t something that can be done overnight. It takes time to assess the networks, plan the best strategy and deploy the solution.
- Make Security a Top Priority- Data is most vulnerable when it is being shared from one system to another. So it’s important to create encryptions and other security protocols that protect data from cyber threats.
- Choose the Right Technology Solution- Every company is different. Different processes. Different needs. Different products and services. Selecting the solution that fits the specific and unique needs is a major key to success.
- Choose the Right Partner- Becoming an interconnected enterprise is a journey and no one should go it alone. Just like there are various solutions out there to select from, organizations have a choice in picking a partner that is right for their organization.
At AVIO Consulting, our goal is simple. Whether you need a small change or a complex restructure, we customize our approach for every client. We want your organization to meet your goals and we are here to help you do that.
Through our full suite of integration and low code platforms, not to mention our DevOps automation, we can help you achieve a connected enterprise with technology that complements each other and resources that help you succeed.