researchHQ’s Key Takeaways:
- Cloud integration offers companies greater agility, allowing applications to be deployed faster in response to both opportunities and threats.
- Deploying cloud integrations helps companies to capitalize on growing eCommerce adoption while avoiding the hassle of software maintenance and manual upgrades.
- The cloud offers increased scalability, enabling companies to handle unexpected surges in activity while avoiding outages or downtime.
- Cloud integrations help organisation’s gain full visibility into business processes and make holistic data-driven decisions.
- When planned effectively, cloud integrations drive down the total cost of ownership by saving companies the costs of servers, hardware and the manpower needed to manage these resources.
In 2020, digital transformation has accelerated so quickly that companies are either pulling further ahead or falling further behind than their competition than they were before the pandemic.
Those companies with legacy business models are struggling to keep up with the pace of customer demand, and find themselves unable to offer a sufficient customer experience.
With that being said, given the current environment and trends around digital transformation growth, we can’t think of a more appropriate topic to discuss than why you should move your integration solution to the cloud.
Five Business Reasons
Here are the top five business reasons you can make today that your business should migrate integration to the cloud.
If COVID-19 has taught business leaders anything, it’s that agility is mandatory for survival. The only constant, especially in a year like 2020, is change. Business agility is the capability of a business to be adaptive, flexible, and creative through a changing environment. Agile businesses respond quickly to opportunities or threats, whether they are internal or external.
Throughout the current pandemic, organizations have had to respond rapidly and flexibly to meet customer demands because consumer behavior has changed significantly. Companies that adjusted the quickest after the 2008 recession focused outside-in by, taking their cues from what was really happening in their markets. Similarly today, shifting integration solutions to the cloud enables users to see their business operations from the outside-in, deploy applications quicker, and to be able to connect and adapt to change by evolving their digital ecosystem quicker than their competitors through cloud-based APIs.
Support Business Needs
When companies embrace a modern integration platform, they no longer have to worry about the hassles of software maintenance and manual upgrades to the latest software, enabling the IT department to focus on other important issues. A centralized cloud integration platform really capitalizes on an EDI translator that can accept and transform EDI, but also other data formats such as XML and flat files to move data to other systems or applications.
As businesses evolve, the support models are evolving alongside them, including drop-shipping, omnichannel retail, and eCommerce. Speaking of eCommerce, given increasing rates of adoption right now, all the more reason companies should consider a modern platform with more dynamic integration capabilities. That’s why it’s more common for companies to adopt subscription-based cloud technologies in order to drive those initiatives.
While EDI is a standardized format for the movement and transformation of data, more often than not the members of a company’s digital ecosystem will each have their own EDI transaction sets that a company must support, so there are always going to be variations. EDI can vary from company to company and industry to industry, especially when a company has a large number of trading partners, or is relying on outdated EDI software that cannot scale to support all of the data requirements needed as a business grows.
In 2020, a company must have the ability to scale its business, handle new trading partners, and onboard quickly. When companies are still relying on a legacy environment, they are going to quickly find that managing rapid growth actually puts a strain on the business processes and systems. And being unprepared can lead to increased outages and downtime, which impacts continuity and relationships with customers and trading partners.
Cloud-based workflows and file-sharing applications allow for not only real-time updates, but they also provide full visibility into your business processes. As a business grows and becomes more and more complex, the amount of data that a company collects increases exponentially. In order to handle all of that new data, many companies find that they are only ‘rubber-banding’ solutions together. That’s why when you look at eCommerce and all the application integration that is so prevalent today, an end-to-end view is completely necessary. And when you have a centralized integration platform, one that can handle both API and EDI integrations equally well, it really provides a holistic view for your company to make data-driven decisions.
Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)
When you’re discussing OpEx versus CapEx, a cloud integration platform allows you to use remote resources that can save your organization the cost of servers and other equipment, as well as people to manage all of those resources. This is one way a company can cut out the high cost of hardware, and enjoy a subscription-based model that is not only kind to your cash flow, but it’s also predictable so you can budget for it, which CIOs always appreciate.
Three Use Cases
Once you’ve made the business case for a cloud migration, what specific use cases and initiatives are customers taking advantage of, once in the cloud?
Re-platforming is generally driven by an ERP replacement or the decommissioning of an AS/400. Businesses will look for your platform because they need to improve the level of integration between their current ERP system and other mission-critical applications, such as a CRM or eCommerce warehouse management system or supply chain portal.