Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Information & Integration

Those organizations that have better integration maturity outperform their competitors and tend to be more responsive to increasing pace of changes and develop long-term business competency.

Modern organization has its own sophistication- silo functions, the sea of data, and the pool of talents, etc. To run business as a holistic living thing rather than “the sum of pieces,” it’s important to “put things together, and optimize,” “process, integrate, and refine information” to gain business insight. There are different complexities at a different time or dimension and there are multilateral integration to achieve business coherence.

The purpose of integration is to enforce collaboration and unification in order to create business synergy and catalyze business growth continually: There is abundant information permeated everywhere and silo spreading in the different layers of the organization. In many organizations, the overly rigid hierarchy and functional gaps create bottlenecks that prevent information flow and slows down business speed. Thus, organizations should consolidate, modernize, integrate, innovate, and optimize business processes, products, services, and capabilities all the time. And business management should pay specific attention to integration, quality, standards, regulations, etc.

Methodologically, the solution to breaking down silo is to apply bigger thinking, to implement an effective cross-silo strategy, craft better integral processes, and harness collaborative communication. Technically, integration is the process of aligning the physical, logical and semantic aspects of two or more applications in the context of a larger design and architectural perspective and enable workflows between them. People, process, and technology are all part of the enterprise body. The beauty in running an informative and integral organization is in harmony, and only through coordination or corporation, the full business potential can be unleashed.

You integrate when a justification can be made for realizing ROI: Integration is very simply the task of connecting systems so they can share and consume each other's data, process, resources or talent, etc. By integrating, you are creating a case where you force an organizational alignment to the integration to maximize the value from existing systems and the need for better business performance and responsiveness. The goal of a variety of integration is to ensure information consistency, ROI, security, and interoperability for running a highly responsive and high-performance business.

In practice, every IT project is a business initiative which needs to make justification for realizing ROI. You need to know your organization and what you're getting for all your investments - either intuitively or literally. Be cautious though, integration can be very difficult and hard to justify ROI. Because each integration effort perhaps spins off into chain reactions that may not be recognized until the budget is gone. The goal is to facilitate business progress but also bring down the incremental cost of growth and the time to market. Besides financial value, ROI is expanding into other less measurable, but no less tangible areas such as employee satisfaction, creativity, teamwork, collaboration, making silos disappear, etc.

The multiple perspectives of information, implementation and integration: Integration has to be done with a “big picture,” having the business architecture in mind that supports the strategic goals of the organization such as revenue growth, margin improvement or customer satisfaction, etc. In the business alignment/integration category, Business architecture tends to focus on capability analysis, current state evaluation, gap analysis, and development of the roadmap to reach a reasonable target future state. More specifically, it includes scope (cross-functional boundary), status (goal, objective, etc), talent (creative, growth mindset), resources, processes, information technology, etc. For integration practices, open up cross-disciplined dialogs and optimize the whole process in ways that perhaps were not possible before.

To run a coherent people-centric business, integrating functional silos and customer experience with business design should be a critical aspect of planning and architecting future businesses. The successful integration will depend on the underlying business relationships between all of the crucial points and how they influence each other in building solid and differentiated business competency. It helps to orchestrate organizational interrelationship by bridging gaps, enforcing communication, fostering collaboration, sharing information, building trust, and ultimately leading to greater autonomy and "self-generated" engagement.

The complexity of running a modern organization comes in due to business volatility, information abundance, diversity, unpredictability, nonlinearity, rules and regulation, hybrid structure, and increased business flux working and impacting together. Those organizations that have better integration maturity outperform their competitors and tend to be more responsive to increasing pace of changes and develop long-term business competency.


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