Systems integration (or IT integration as we know it) has oiled enterprise for decades. It has helped achieve technological interoperability, bringing vendors, OEMs and disparate infrastructure closer together, and given rise to new opportunities and efficiencies.
Traditionally, systems integration has always been narrowly focused on technology without taking a wider view of the enterprise as a whole. As a result, it has not been successfully plugging into the other moving parts of a business.
Digital transformation necessitates seeing the bigger picture
Spurred by evolving industries and technologies, businesses are now undergoing digital transformation and traditional systems integrators must mature into strategic integrators in order to keep up. Strategic integration can be thought of as a layer operating above traditional systems integration. This is a holistic approach to the entire enterprise – IT, OT, business, processes, products and services – progressing as a whole, with clockwork precision and predictability.
Strategic integration can unlock substantial value opportunities for organisations. By approaching different organisational processes in a way that they can be cross-leveraged, the outcome is clear: dramatically improved efficiencies, lowered costs, minimised risks, transparent and collaborative operations, product/service innovation and increased customer satisfaction.
When field data meets enterprise wisdom under the strategic integration umbrella, organisations will be able to transform customer experience through an entirely new breed of next-generation products and services.
All these moving parts are brought together through IoT
IoT – a key enabler of enterprise digital transformation – plays a crucial role in this shift. By one estimate, there will be more than 29.5 billion IoT endpoints by 2020. The traditional approach to systems integration, with its tight focus on knitting together enterprise technology elements, simply won’t cut it any longer.
In a world that is being rapidly transformed by IoT, how will the business-provider relationship evolve from systems integration to strategic integration? I believe that organisations must start by consulting directly with IoT and domain experts. Those who understand your industry and can cut the slack in processes will create an end-to-end blueprint for strategic integration, coupled with flawless implementation that will drive real progress.