Integration is as important as ever for business.
Many businesses are finding their ability to grow, deliver value and innovate is constrained by their IT architecture. This happens regardless of what best-in-class applications have been implemented e.g ERP systems, accounting systems and CRM if they are not well integrated.
Businesses often realise the problem when information such as sales data (held in the accounts system) needs to be measured and tracked against specific customers (being managed in the CRM). The problem then extends to the marketing person who wants to stimulate demand by running a campaign to reach specific customers based on their sales history. Then at the end of the campaign track campaign results. This is just one example of what can happen when systems in a company mature in isolation to one another.
The CTO for WDCi, Walter Dewildt sees the common challenges facing customers he works with can be grouped into the four following scenarios:
• Data consolidation or aggregation for a single view of the customer.
• Mergers and Acquisitions forcing systems to be bridged –on-premise and off-premise.
• Innovation in bringing new services to market with existing systems.
• Labour intensive manual processes.
According to Walter, cloud-based middleware address can all of these scenarios. This can realise huge benefits over the traditional methods used to integrate systems. Proprietary connectors are no longer required – at their high development cost. The middleware options available today from providers such as Dell Boomi have matured dramatically over the past 5 years – and deliver robust, highly flexible platforms.
Cloud Middleware benefits include:
• Reduced IT spend by avoiding costly forklift upgrades.
• Faster time to market for new business initiatives – using the same front-end tools.
• IT staff focussed on delivering innovative business solutions rather than managing custom integration solutions.