Businesses and government organisations are experiencing far-reaching change. New technologies and digital models are rewriting the rules of engagement with customers, employees, partners and other stakeholders.
For example, customers expect personalised service and support anytime, from any location, while employees expect management to provide consumer-grade workplace experiences. Increasingly, managers demand access in real time to reports and insights derived from big data.
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Meanwhile, machine learning, deep learning and artificial intelligence present opportunities to improve manufacturing maintenance cycles, customer service and support, and other essential activities. The Internet of Things connects devices ranging from wearables to aircraft engines, paving the way for businesses and organisations to create new services and models.
Businesses and organisations that fail to adapt to and embrace these challenges risk fading into irrelevance. Unfortunately, process inconsistencies, siloed systems and data and other holdovers from legacy environments can compromise efforts to explore new opportunities.
Many businesses and organisations are turning to software integration tools to help address these concerns. However, results have been patchy, with some customers using a range of tools across their operations. Unfortunately, these tools often require custom coding to address specific needs and fail to meet data quality requirements.
So how can businesses and organisations overcome their integration issues and obtain the consistency, flexibility and real-time access to data required for success in the digital era?
Cloud is the key
The answer for many businesses and organisations lies in the cloud. Many businesses and organisations are already using cloud services — whether public (shared resources and services made available over the Internet), private (resources and services delivered over an internal network), or a combination of these (hybrid) — to improve their agility, intelligence and cost-effectiveness.
Public cloud providers make infrastructure such as servers and storage, software, and application development and delivery platforms available as services to customers.
iPaaS overcomes challenges
Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS) — a cloud service for application, data, process and service-oriented architecture integration — helps businesses and organisations achieve integration across cloud-to-cloud, cloud-to-on-premise, on-premise-to-on-premise and business-to-business environments.
A recent Dell-commissioned Forrester report — The Total Economic Impact of the Dell Boomi Platform — argues that iPaaS can help businesses and organisations break down information silos; automate workflows; secure real-time access to data across applications and business partners; and provide data analysis and management capabilities.
Forrester developed and applied an analysis to a hypothetical ‘composite organisation’ formulated after interviewing Dell Boomi customers across six industries.
This composite organisation is a global operation with $10 billion in annual revenue and 30,000 employees. Under the Forrester scenario, the organisation found its integration strategy under challenge and opted for a more centralised, governed approach.
It decided to retire its legacy on-premises integration tools and transition to the cloud, selecting Dell Boomi as its integration solution.
According to the Forrester analysis, the organisation achieved a range of benefits as a result, including:
- $3.4 million in incremental revenue by enabling different parts of the organisation to interact with data, unlocking opportunities for new revenue streams and innovation;
- $1.5 million in savings on infrastructure cost and management due to transitioning to the cloud;
- $1.1 million in savings through retiring previous integration solutions, eliminating licence fees and reducing the burden on information technology staff;
- shortening development times by 70 per cent, increasing IT staff productivity and delivering $388,568 in savings.
Unquantified benefits included:
- the ability of developers to wear different hats, eliminating the need for the organisation to recruit specialised developers for functionality such as API design and management;
- standardising data queries to eliminate errors caused by custom code, enabling business leaders and managers to drive change based on on consistent, high-quality data;
- using a centralised platform to reduce the time to troubleshoot system errors;
- giving integration developers an insight into how their work impacts on each other and the business.
An NPV of $4.8 million
Forrester put the benefits of the platform at about $6.4 million over three years. Once the analyst firm deducted $1.6 million for costs such as subscription and professional services, and implementation and ongoing management, it arrived at a net present value of $4.8 million, and a return on investment of 307 per cent.
The efficiencies and improvements delivered by the Dell Boomi platform position businesses and organisations to reap the rewards of digital and technology-powered transformation. For example, Forrester cites the example of pulling data from disparate applications to targeted locations for further use, enabling organisations to reap the rewards of technologies such as the Internet of Things, blockchain and artificial intelligence. Furthermore, the platform frees up information technology staff by providing the toolkit and governance to allow business users to design and build their own integrations.
About this author
Andrew Birmingham is the director of the Which-50 Digital Intelligent Unit of which Dell Boomi is a corporate member. Our members provide their insights and expertise for the benefit of the Which-50 community. Membership fees apply.