Whether you’re a massive enterprise company or a small business, you need an integration strategy.
The digital revolution has begun. According to ZDNet, medium- to large-sized business use between 300 and 400 cloud apps.
Gone are the days of massive technology suites centrally owned by IT. Today, companies — and departments within those companies — are free to choose the technologies that best fit their business strategies, even as their needs quickly evolve.
Companies that don’t manage this explosion of applications, systems, data, and devices will not only fail to see real value from all of these investments, but they also risk falling behind their competitors.
An integration strategy is the difference between success and failure in this digital world.
Success is now less about which vendor, app, or data source you select, but rather how you connect them.
According to the 2016 State of Salesforce Connectivity report, connecting and consolidating information from other apps and data sources is the biggest obstacle to gaining a 360-degree view of the customer. For a majority of Salesforce customers, for instance, the information about their customers housed in Salesforce does not give them a complete picture of their interactions, products, invoices and much more.
Much of this critical information lives outside Salesforce in systems like SAP, NetSuite, and Oracle, as well databases and homegrown apps. The barrier to accessing this data from within Salesforce is not because of a lack of skills or resources but the lack of an integration strategy and the platform to make this information available to view, use and analyze.
What’s the Best Integration Strategy?
Think of your data sources, business applications, devices, and systems as one holistic effort instead of each as a separate project. Integration is really about process flow efficiency and freeing critical information from silos, no matter where that data is or who needs to use it. This used to mean moving data around or investing in expensive systems, but a modern, Agile integration approach means that you can quickly connect your data and keep the apps and tools (even the ones behind a firewall) that work best for your business.
It has to be fast. Speed is the new currency in the cloud, and the ability for anyone in your organization to quickly procure, deploy and connect new technologies is the key to success. Integration platforms with pre-built templates based on best practices will enable the employees that best understand processes and data needs to make the connections — without the bottlenecks going through IT often creates.
And finally, custom code is not an integration strategy; it is an approach that won’t scale to meet the connectivity demands of the new technologies that enterprises need to be competitive and scale.
For more about the importance of an integration strategy, check out the 2016 State of Salesforce Connectivity report.