Thursday, September 9, 2021


Integration is the key to ensuring that the organization is functioning as a holistic entity that offers real value and also is necessary for future agility.

If you look at a company as a collection of subsystems with varying business elements, there are different complexities at a different time or dimension and there are multilateral integration to achieve business coherence. However, in reality, many organizations are running as a sum of pieces, not an integral whole. That significantly downgrades organizational performance, agility, and maturity. 

Integration is the key to ensure that the organization system offers real value and also is necessary for future growth. The purpose of integration is to enforce alliance, collaboration and unification in order to create business synergy and catalyze business growth continually.

Information/knowledge integration: Now we are moving forward from an Industrial Age with information scarcity toward the digital era with information abundance. Across the vertical sectors, information is one of the most critical soft assets of the organization. A healthy Information Management cycle makes information available and useful, store, consolidate, integrate, and refine it into intelligence, capturing insights for creating business value. In business reality though, there is a mix of quality data and misinformation; there are overloaded information or knowledge gaps, siloed processes or inefficient procedures. Sometimes companies spend so much time and energy collecting data for that "just in case" scenario, without unlocking the full potential of information. The goal of information integration is to ensure information consistency, ROI, security, and interoperability. And the information/knowledge integration involves a logical scenario to align information with related processes and functions; allow the right people to access the right information; enable information-based decision-making, or converge information management and knowledge management to a holistic discipline for running an information savvy, high-responsive organization.

Too many businesses are data rich but insight scarce. Information is refined data; insight is refined information, and wisdom is the abstract of insight. So information savvy management needs to clarify the business information strategy, make information validation and predictability, and move up the information-insight-wisdom pyramid by asking: Where is the data located? Where is the information we have lost in data? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information? Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? To break down the information flow bottleneck and bridge the gap between information and insight, and make a seamless integration, it's important to make a transition from a small data mining initiative to a more integral information management solution to gain business insight, refine business knowledge, and solve crucial organizational problems holistically.

Investment/Portfolio Integration: To keep business relevant for the long run, organizations not only need to keep the lights on, but they also have to explore growth opportunities, manage diversified portfolios of investments continually in terms of value, risk, and reward. In traditional silo based companies, there is redundancy or overlap between functional investment and multiple portfolio categories. Sometimes, investments are not compared across portfolios. With the fast pace of changes, there is also a danger of not having a mature portfolio management process in place, which causes issues with the strategy alignment. To "develop and nurture" business potential and performance, improve manageability, eliminate waste, and increase organizational effectiveness, visibility into each investment is established to provide ongoing investment health information as well as enable understanding overall portfolio health. There is a concept of the “golden thread” that can link the business strategy to investment goals or business benefit, integrate a cohesive investment portfolio, and enable business change and strategy implementation.

The portfolio management process itself is a governance process which is usually tailored to match the organization’s type of business. In essence, portfolio management is doing the right things; portfolio integration is to ensure a smooth alignment of strategy-business initiative management, focus on preventing value leakage, resource misuse, or talent mispositioning. As organizations are at a different stage of the business lifecycle, and they should have their own set of criteria to invest in, a set of specific and measurable goals and objectives. A well-built portfolio platform enables the business to integrate and manage a well-rounded investment portfolio effectively and efficiently to ensure the expected return on investment, collective value generation and multi-layer return on investment.

Competency/talent integration: From past, present to the future, people are always the most critical business success factors, not process or technology. However, in most companies, there are all sorts of people related issues, such as talent shortage, workforce overloading, culture inertia, employee disengagement, leadership shortsightedness, siloed talent management discipline, etc. Today’s organizations must have an integral approach to develop talent, build their people centric business competency, adapt to the changing workforce in the changing workplace and add additional best of breed talent and engagement systems to their existing core.

There is a different talent requirement to fit in different positions, there are tailored processes and practices to meet their need to develop and retain the talent. Creating a vision and path for talent development and competency building. Engage workforce planning, deployment, and development based on performance both qualitatively and quantitatively. An integral talent management will bring business leaders together across the organization to share their experience and insight wherever there is a gap in the system, help to identify root causes immediately and give practical guidance for improving talent management discipline in creative ways to gain predictive insight and competitive advantage.

Integration is the key to ensuring that the organization is functioning as a holistic entity that offers real value and also is necessary for future agility. But keep in mind, "integration" is not always cost-effective, especially with highly disparate systems; it could be hard to justify the return on investment. Thus, an integration strategy and framework plays an important role in having a “big picture” in mind, mapping and supporting business long term goals as well as taking a structural scenario for continually optimizing and innovating to achieve tangible results consistently.


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