When a company is founded, it starts with a limited set of applications. As the company grows, each department wants to improve efficiency, adjust their way of working and select the best tools for their job. They create their own digital workplace and manage a specific set of data with the tools they’ve selected.
Unfortunately with every new digital tool added to your business’s IT landscape independent, isolated data islands may be created within different departments. It happens unintentionally as your business evolves, teams grow, and information gets more complicated. Adding in more partners outside of your company creates further confusion too.
Each department has its different software and tools which are designed to perform a specific set of tasks. The software may perform these tasks perfectly but the challenge comes when different departments need to collaborate. Some of the information is stored on the mainframe, some in the cloud. Every tool you add gives you more solutions, but often the complexity of so many different processes also adds more problems.
Up until now, you may have overcome these challenges manually, at the end of each day or month. Someone from your purchasing department may have to input information from a supplier to your company’s system. Then they review information from their system before sharing it with your finance department. Things get even more complicated as errors may be introduced, and delays are to be expected.
When different departments are using different software and tools they may be change-averse and lack flexibility.
Four challenges in complex working environments
This is inflexible and doesn’t allow you to run your business responsively. No one has a full view of everything stored throughout the organisation. The situation can become even more complex when you want to work with new partners outside your organisation. Your business may need to access their information and use their tools and processes. There may be risks related to GDPR compliance. With data scattered throughout your organisation, there is a lack of control, diluted access, and an increased risk of inaccuracy. Data is entered multiple times, each time in a different location. Some data is entered into the CRM, additional data in ERP and even more duplicated elsewhere. If a customer requests that their data is removed, how confident can you be that it has been deleted everywhere?
Even when automated approval is required, it can be complicated with a lack of overview of the data. You can’t predict where the dependencies are. With so many different data islands and multiple entries, errors inconsistencies are more or less inevitable. A change to the name of a field can have an impact elsewhere in the organisation but you might not be able to predict where until it arises.
Your 360-degree view is obscured because of the patchwork nature of the different tools and software used by different departments.
But it doesn’t have to be this way.
So, while your company may have become complex unintentionally, you can choose to simplify things once again by integration platforms, applications and data thanks to iPaaS.