The species that are most receptive to change are the ones that survive – Charles Darwin
The line between our physical and digital lives are getting blurred as companies make the great digital transformation. By integrating digital, companies are increasing turnover, customer satisfaction and value.
Airbnb is a classic example that has transformed the entire travel and hospitality industry by making it possible to find safe and affordable accommodation from any computing device. Adobe achieved 1 Billion+ in revenues replacing its boxed software model for a cloud-based subscription business model. Netflix has risen to ranks in the media industry by reimagining entertainment for millions of worldwide customers through digital delivery of personalized entertainment. Many other millennial favorite brands like UBER, Amazon, Walmart, and Domino’s Pizza are all real-world digital transformation success stories.
So how can your company get there?
Start with Data Integration
The data landscape today has data streams from Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and the Internet of Things among many other technologies.
These technologies make it necessary for tech companies to consolidate all their heterogeneous data from fragmented sources under a single system. Data integration empowers you by:
1. Giving Data Accessibility in Real Time
Data integration enables real-time data accessibility. This enables the business to spot digital avenues to improve customer experience or even create a whole new channel of service/experience. This helps the business steer its digital transformation in the right direction.
Intel, the world’s dominant microchip maker, used data to create a quick turnaround on its business profitability. Intel deployed an in-memory and advanced analytics equipped ERP system that gave it real-time accessibility of records as and when they were created. The system brought together fragmented data from multiple sources which improved supply chain efficiency.
2. Breaking down Organizational Data Silos
Data integrations helps to bring together and form Big Data pools from separate data hosting systems like cloud and on-premise servers. Such data pools can be analysed at a granular level to derive insights for planning immediate digital transformation initiatives. Without data integration, such data will remain in separate containers giving only a biased view of the operations.
Even global conglomerates like General Electric have recognized the potential of data integration and are taking bold steps towards its adoption. The century-old business conglomerate has acquired Bit Stew – an advanced data integration platform. Bit Stew will collect and integrate GE’s grid data from billions of sensors and meters. The data so collected will be then processed using machine learning data integration to create a rich data model.
3. Enabling DevOps Adoption
Today, DevOps has become the default project management methodology for digital enterprises. However, it needs extensive sharing of knowledge and collaboration between development and operational teams. Implementation of DevOps requires bringing together of non-standard, fragmented and disjointed infrastructure, data being a core element of the infrastructure. By unifying all information, data integration enables DevOps Adoption.
In its initial days, Etsy – the online destination for unique handicrafts – suffered frequent downtimes that threatened its very existence. The company soon assembled a dedicated technical management team which adopted a collaborative approach to site deployment. The organization-wide collaboration based on DevOps framework helped Etsy to increase the number of deployments to 60 per day from twice in a week.
4. Creating multi-channel customer experience
An eConsultancy joint report with Google titled The customer experience is written in data found that more than 57% of business leaders think that organization-wide data and analytical insights are critical to the success of the company. Data integration helps digital businesses create a personalized customer experience for a multi-channel world.
Disney reimagined omni-channel experience for its customers with the Magic Band Program. Right from accessing resort rooms to ordering food or even securing fast passes to rides, the Magic Band is a perfect example of delivering an omni-channel customer experience. And, it originates with data.
From delivering an in-the-moment experience to planning long-term business moves, data integration is unavoidable for digital transformation. All forms of data – legacy systems, modern ERP databases, product information, customer buying behaviour, social conversations – needs to be integrated for a holistic business planning.