Information is power. The more you know about your customers, your market, your competitors, your products, and the effectiveness of your strategies, the more accurately you can plan your next product iteration, new market entries, and workforce additions.
But if you are like most fast-growing small-to-medium businesses (SMBs), your data may be scattered across multiple systems. You have the data you need; you just cannot use it.
Therefore, integration across all your application solutions is critical. It is what turns data into information.
Most businesses have multiple sources of structured and unstructured data. This data can include customer contact information, transaction histories, social media and customer service feedback, sales data, marketing information, etc. There is not just one source for this data, and because of that, it all remains separated from one another, sitting in their own specific application suites. The longer each piece of data remains isolated, your SMB will struggle to get a full picture of how the company is doing, impacting your bottom line.
As they grow, many companies look to solve one need at a time. A solution is purchased to address that one need, and very little thought is put into how it will scale with company growth and integrate with other present and future solutions. This creates a disparate infrastructure —a patchwork of solutions from different providers that won’t give the business what it needs—a 360-degree view of the entire company. Without data and the actionable intelligence it provides, there can be no transformation.
And that is why full SaaS (software-as-a-service) integration is so important.
Without complete application integration, there can be no digital transformation. And when you’re pursuing large-scale digital transformation, it’s not enough to integrate individual modules within your ERP Cloud, EPM Cloud, CX Cloud, and so on. Sure, it is great if procurement and financials and project management share data, but what about EPM Cloud and HCM Cloud sharing data to handle strategic workforce planning. Or CX Cloud and ERP Cloud to improve customer experiences (reward for loyalty and prompt payment history, for example).
Cloud applications need to connect and communicate across all pillars to ensure everyone has the most accurate, up-to-date information and access to the data and tools they need. That is how to positively change and grow your business.
This is why, as you look to retire on-premises systems (or even chuck your spreadsheets), focus on finding the right cloud applications. They will provide a data bridge, not a data barrier, letting your back-office functions—ERP, EPM, HCM, and SCM— and front-office systems (i.e. CX)—sales, service, commerce, and so on—connect and add value.