4 Steps for Creating an Agile Foundation for Your Business

No matter what sort of industry your business is based in, there is a good chance that the marketplace is rapidly shifting. Due to the opportunities that arise from digital transformation, older business models are becoming obsolete quickly. At the same time, customer needs are evolving as well. If businesses can’t keep up with their customer’s needs, they have no choice but to go extinct. The business needs to change along with its customers. And to do so, it needs to think ahead and have a very flexible or agile business foundation.

Now, this is as difficult as it sounds. Most businesses spend their resources on day-to-day operations or dealing with internal issues. However, with an IT team taking innovation to its further, this can be done without breaking a sweat. But your business model needs to be future-proof and agile with a rock-solid foundation.

With a proper foundation, you just need to focus on the following things:

  1. Calculate the Value of Integration

Measuring the total value of integration isn’t exactly easy. A simple Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) model is generally used but has its issues as it can’t display the actual business value created by the integration. 

As integration can help whole industries figure out who’s getting ahead and what issues a company needs to address, leaders of the industry have come up with two reliable ways to measure its value. These are:

  • The direct value created from an integration platform
  • The indirect value enabled by an integration platform

When justifying large-scale integration investments to higher-ups and partners, CIOs have to translate their team’s potential impact into clear business metrics. The best way to do this is to calculate how much integration will cost the business at the moment, and how a new model will improve outcomes and speed up the desired business goals.

2. Create an Innovative Business Model

The world seems to be spinning faster with each passing day and business practices need to reflect that. The main problem with fragmented hybrid environments is that they make data inaccessible and integration unnecessarily complex. Data silos prove to be a major roadblock to progress and digital advancement. 

Instead, businesses must enable business agility by investing in unified platforms.  Compared to relying on custom code or a set of tactical tools, this will securely expose data and turn it into consumable building blocks (like APIs) that the entire organization can utilize and innovate with. Decentralizing IT and empowering your full ecosystem with data will give your business an enormous advantage over the competition. It also makes things easier for the IT department and decreases overall delivery time.

3. Establish Your Integration Team Properly

Everyone in the company needs to be on the same page when it comes to the overall vision and aims that follow your integration strategy. After you get the business partners on board with long- and short-term goals and how integration can help achieve them more quickly, it is important to structure the integration team with the utmost consideration. The IT team will be pivotal in this transformation, going from having a centralized function to being a strategic business partner. 

Business leaders need to start by figuring out how to manage the various needs for data coming from different parts of the business. There has to be a secure and reusable pathway for each data set. This increases productivity, speed, and value as there is no need to recreate integrations whenever a request comes in.

4. Partner with Your Business Peers

Any innovation model needs a close alignment with business peers for it to work. The following are just some of the things IT leaders in businesses need to do:

a) Carefully plan out how technology will play help in achieving those business goals in the least time possible.

b) Work closely with the CEO, CFO, and board to identify and prioritize which initiatives are vital to the business.

c) Join with similar line-of-business groups that share a single vision and key-value metrics to achieve your goals quickly and more easily.

Furthermore, there needs to be a common or shared understanding with these business peers. You have to explain to them the problem you are trying to solve. And how this will help everyone involved in the businesses: minimizing risk, improving quality, and accelerating processes.

In Conclusion

Digital transformation is the tide that is coming for all the businesses that dabble with IT. But instead of looking at it as something daunting, it is best to view it as something that will benefit your business in the long run. Adjusting to digital transformation in this brave new world will give your business the agile foundation it needs for scalable processes, propelling it right into the future.

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