Cloud computing has become a critical tool in enterprise digital transformation. Among the cloud services, IaaS, DaaS, and PaaS will see the highest growth in end-user spending this year and by 2023, this number is expected to reach $600 billion globally.
Big data has fueled the business rationale of cloud-first models. Companies are increasingly using offsite, on-demand computing power to translate enormous volumes of data into improved customer experiences and topline growth. As a result, the global datasphere is projected to tip 180 zettabytes by 2025, up by 120 zettabytes since 2020. As companies go back to the drawing board to shake off the pandemic fatigue and reinvent their integration strategy, cloud computing will play a critical role in shaping their future.
The role of integration in the BPA journey
Huge amounts of data represent both windfalls and headwinds for cloud-native companies, making it paramount for them to unlock the promise of data for continued expansion. However, datasets generated by continued digitization, the proliferation of smart devices and IoT, and intelligent solutions are bulky and disparate. Expedient solutions connect data across various endpoints and ingest data on premise, in the cloud, or in a hybrid environment. With data stored in walled silos, the ensuing distribution and mass fragmentation prevent effective utilization.
Identifying the root cause of fragmentation is essential. A process analysis can create both clarity and a sound case for business process automation (BPA). At its best, BPA uses the appropriate technologies for frictionless coordination of complex and varied business functions while the integration unifies disparate data types and formats into a single-view panel. Even before the pandemic struck, companies that adopted integration showed a 9% YOY growth compared to 4.9% for non-adopters. In the new exacting, digital-first paradigm, a robust integration strategy can propel business ROIs skyward.
Data fragmentation risks revolve around the storage, veracity, visibility, and agility of data. Explosive volumes of data have been lifted and shifted to cloud storage with data silos being the result of using private, public, and hybrid clouds to derive economies of scale. However, the need for data storage is proportional to the multiplicity of its sources. Similarly, while revenue-fertile information from social media and third-party providers is a prerequisite for digitization, establishing its veracity or ensuring its integrity for compliance purposes is quite another matter. Compromised data quality can cost some businesses $14 million every year.
Data stored in multiple formats and locations cannot be accessed readily by line of business (LOB) users and poor visibility of data diminishes the possibilities of team collaboration. This is often the final straw for companies dealing with siloed data. Process breakdowns between different business functions from dealing with fragmented data act as a drag. It can be the single most important obstacle to agility for digitally evolving enterprises.
Key ingredients of an effective and robust integration strategy
Custom-built plugins are often the first port of call for enterprises on their BPA journey. This approach for integrated data and applications is effective for low data volumes and limited automation applications. Conventional tools can no longer address the demands of today’s businesses – ever-growing data streams, a dizzying array of automation tools, and a complex IT infrastructure. Hence, there is a need for a change in tack.
Integration strategy need to cover a lot of ground. Here is a list of approaches must-haves across needs and businesses:
- Point-to-point (P2P) integrations: P2P integration is viewed as one of the simplest and most efficient ways of integrating applications. Two applications are tightly coupled to enable them to speak to each other. But the simplicity of the approach often comes at a price. Since P2P solutions are wedded to the applications they are created for, they cannot be reused.
- Vendor plugins: Suppliers or partners often supply targeted, go-to-market solutions that usually let two applications exchange data. They are often economical and make sense for smaller businesses, but do not lend themselves to customization and have a minimalistic scope. Some iterations of plugins that are more versatile are often linked to platform integration services.
- Custom APIs utilities: APIs enable the integration of two systems, ensuring seamless data transfer between them. Custom APIs are purpose-built, hub-and-spoke solutions that allow the integration of multiple APIs. They are typically more expensive to develop but allow faster recovery of costs. They are best suited for legacy systems and for handling large integrations.
- RPA bots: Arguably this technology is emblematic of automation. RPA deals with software applications at the front-end, unlike APIs that target the back office of an enterprise. Yet the effects of RPA are reflected in back-office functions. Repetitive, error-prone tasks that require minimal decision-making are what RPA bots are programmed to do. The rules are human-made and drive a simple, cost-effective process for acquiring and manipulating data.
- Next-generation EiPaaS: EiPaaS is defined by the research firm Gartner as a combination of integration technology functionalities that are delivered as a suite of cloud services and are designed to support enterprise-class integration initiatives. Simply put, EiPaaS is a set of cloud-based tools to integrate on-premises and cloud-based data with applications resident in a cloud environment. This typically enables large organizations to parse large amounts of data from multiple sources and deploy them via various cloud-based applications. The basis of EiPaaS platforms is their ease of use, standardization, and pre-built modular architecture.
Doing it right by partnering with HCLTech
Forward-looking knowledge and implementation partners offer the composability to create and automate business processes. Composability in technology is the ability to build and deliver software in blocks that can be built, reused, and reconfigured on a no-code basis for use by a business. It is a modular approach, in which outcomes are delivered by using preexisting building blocks called packaged business capabilities (PBCs). With the right solutions, businesses can become more agile, open to innovation, and capable of adapting to change and uncertainty.
With years of experience across industries and as a partner of choice for several F500 companies, HCLTech offer the right set of expertise, round-the-clock support, and customizable solutions to address integration woes and unlock opportunities at scale. HCLTech’s Digital Process Operations unit has been paving the way for future-ready processes integration management strategies for the last 12 years in business process automation. Designed to remove the roadblocks that impede effective data usage in the BPA journey, HCLTech’ cutting-edge solutions can help you maximize the growth of your business processes today for a resilient tomorrow.
Designed to remove the roadblocks that impede effective data usage in the BPA journey, HCLTech cutting-edge solutions can help you maximize the growth of your business processes today for a resilient tomorrow.
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