Digital Transformation through Integration

Realise your digital transformation through integration

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Introduction

The business world is undergoing a revolution. With the proliferation of technology across our lives and work, industries around the world are realising that the tried and trusted methods that have kept them moving forward might no longer suffice. Consumers today are connected, informed, and unprecedentedly technologically savvy, and as a result, the companies they deal with are expected to be the same.

Digital transformation — the process by which organizations modernize themselves to incorporate new digital technologies throughout their entire business — is becoming necessary to survive. It has become a part of today’s business processes and operations. Beyond this, digital transformation leads to major changes on how a business operates and delivers value to its customers, as technology achievements integrate into current processes.

Digitalizing processes

Business processes may consist of sub processes and tasks that run through several functions, which in turn may be managed through distinct applications. Entities, such as customers or vendors, may have different application repositories to store parts of their master information. Processes often require user intervention such as approvals, validations, rejections etc. to proceed and may handle business rules and become intelligent, with machine learning techniques.

Integration platforms supporting such processes should be based on an architecture that provides the corresponding end-to-end capabilities and fulfills necessary design principles for digital transformation to be feasible. It should also provide the framework for incorporating workflows/human interaction modules easily, as well as monitor, evaluate, and easy readjust modules, necessary for adopting intelligent modules and exploiting the benefits of process automation.

Enterprise Integration: Delivering value to customers

Performance, scalability and high availability integration projects are large projects involving several partners, applications and technologies, and they often demand handling complicated challenges. Enterprise-Service Service-Bus-based platforms can face these challenges more efficiently and provide the necessary features, such as:

  • Connectivity industry standards support
  • Code abstraction and high-level development environment
  • Transaction processing, with guarantee message delivery
  • Security
  • Drill-down monitor and reporting

Contrary to on-premises integration installations, if best practices have been followed, cloud installations require less initial costs, exploit better flexible resource management capabilities, and they address the needs of mid or small-scale businesses as well.

Modern clients want instant service and support from the brands they deal with. They want brands that make themselves available to the client in a way that suits the client, not in a way that suits the organization. And they want this experience to be offered seamlessly across every channel. In order for an organization to meet these needs and wants of the consumer, it is absolutely necessary for companies to be innovative and to stay abreast of digital updates and changes. With this in mind, decision makers in businesses are emphasizing the need for digital transformation within their organizations. 

The rise of SMAC technologies (social, mobile, analytics, and cloud) are driving the change in customer expectations and business innovations. 

Unrestricted connectivity between consumers and organizations is due to social media and communication advances. Mobile connectivity is linking consumers and employees with powerful computing power available anywhere and at any time. Raw data can be processed by analytics engines that turn this data into actionable conclusions. The cloud is removing data storage limitations, and making powerful customer service, analytics, and organizational tools available to businesses of all sizes.

However, while SMAC technologies my be driving the change in digital transformation, implementing these technologies without the right strategy for enterprise integration in place may make the task impossible. 

At the core of a successful digital transformation is ensuring all of your applications and databases talk to each other through a common set of standards. This is realised through integration using a middleware hub, such as an Enterprise Service Bus, or ESB for short. 

ESB Architecture: definition and role

ESB is defined as a software architecture that provides structured integrations between a common platform (i.e. service bus) and consumer endpoints. While everyone needs and recognizes the value of Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) while integrating heterogeneous systems and applications, there is still no industry standard definition for ESB. 

ESB technologies and architecture are a cornerstone in Enterprise Integration digital transformation, compared to traditional point to point integration or any other alternatives. That means that, in a digital transformation project, someone must be aware of the ESB pros and cons, know the capabilities and limits of such architecture, and be able to choose one of the offered solutions.

Where does Enterprise Integration come into the digital transformation landscape?

The evolution of these technologies and systems has caused new function-specific applications that support business processes and operations to be created. These often lead to distributed processes and information that belong to the same entities but struggle to communicate effectively.

Consider the simplified case of an O2C (order to cash) process:

- It starts with taking the order,

- followed by processing,

- dispatch and delivery,

- and finally to order payment.

This also may involve functions such as procurement (e.g. for dispatch), sales and marketing (for promoting or pricing), and financial services (for credit control or payment means).

All these functions may be managed by different applications such as ERP, CRM, SRM or dispatch. The order information is spread across all of these different systems. Enterprise Integration transformation orchestrates the end-to-end process regardless of the applications that are involved and how they process data, provides consolidated information, and finally provides better analytics and visibility.

Table of Contents

  1. Pros and Cons of Enterprise Service Bus
  2. End to End Capabilities of an Enterprise Integration Platform
  3. How to Choose the Best Enterprise Service Bus?
  4. Challenges When Introducing an Enterprise Integration Platform
  5. EDI Legacy Integration vs. Enterprise Bus Platform
  6. Customer Enterprise Data Integration Best Practices
  7. Best Microservices Framework for Java
  8. Design Principles of Application Integration Architecture
  9. SaaS integration best practices
  10. Agile MDM Cloud Integration and Enterprise Bus Platforms
  11. Integrating SAP SuccessFactors
  12. Elastic load balancer: What it is and how does it work?

Conclusion

With customer expectations of businesses only increasing, it is vital to revolutionize how business is done. Core and crucial to this is digital transformation. As a key part of your strategy, ensuring all of your applications are talking to each other, and provide you with one cohesive view is a necessity. Being able to analyse your data to improve your customer experience and effectively communicate with them is achievable by implementing the right strategy

Contact us today to discuss your digital transformation needs and let us guide you to success.

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