'No integrations' — why today’s services businesses choose a single technology platform
- Scott Brown of FinancialForce explains why more CIOs are prioritizing a single, adaptable technology backbone to achieve a 'no integrations' approach.
Making it through the pandemic years has been a rollercoaster ride for most businesses. No less challenging is the current and immediate need to manage an unprecedented resurgence in market demand, and the resulting revenue, that is hitting the services economy right now.
This rapid reversal of economic pressures is stimulating a reconsideration of accepted business tactics and operations, as leading organizations dedicate themselves to capturing new opportunities. For services organizations, particularly those operating in the technology sector, this has meant not only a hard look at traditional business models, but setting themselves on a path toward continuous transformation.
And nothing supports continuous transformation more completely than business systems standardization - and eliminating high risk/low reward technical integrations.
Is this the new normal?
Continuous transformation will be the key to enduring success, because the wild ride that is the post-COVID economy shows no signs of letting up. Conditions and processes that global organizations thought they had well in hand are now among the most likely to cause disruption: a shifting, increasingly-hybrid labor market; fifty year highs in inflation growth; supply chains that are abnormally fragile; and the ever-present risk of new pandemic variants that could throw everything back into chaos. While very real, these macro events are barely opening acts for the many sector-specific micro disruptions that are driving upheaval across the board.
With all this occurring around us, services-based businesses are coming to understand one thing: continuous disruption is the new normal. To succeed, they must build infrastructure and systems to meet an infinitely shifting business environment, and dedicate themselves to mastering continuous transformation.
The 'no integrations' approach
Just as necessity is the mother of invention, so disruption is the mother of innovation. Indeed, disruption provides not just threats, but opportunity for services-based businesses prepared to take up the gauntlet. And when an organization can counter disruption with innovation, it finds itself in a state of transformation.
Salesforce founder Marc Benioff once said, "There should be no software." That axiom has evolved over the years; today, many services-based businesses are recognizing that in order to meet the challenge of continuous transformation, “there should be no integrations.”
In practice, this means bypassing multiple integrated platforms in favor of a single, adaptable technology backbone that enables iterative innovation to counter the endless onslaught of disruption. Such a holistic platform should deliver a combination of automation and intelligence through a single, connected, cloud-based solution that supports the creation of specialized outcomes.
Many CIOs consider reducing their systems complexity by standardizing on a single platform with “no integrations” to be one of their highest 2022 priorities. By bringing all their business systems together in a unified cloud-based environment, they can reduce the distance and disconnects between tools and deliver fully-synchronized solutions. A complete, unified platform — one that delivers a seamless experience and enables information and processes to flow freely among everyone in the organization — is the fundamental building block required to support continuous transformation.
Eliminating cost, risk, and uncertainty
A single platform enables an organization to not only bring together processes; it also facilitates the free movement of information between departments and functions, powering a consistent, reliable, accurate experience to be delivered to customers.
Today’s leading organizations are seeking to eliminate bespoke applications, and system customizations, not because they are expensive to build, but because they are costly and risky to maintain over time. Driving toward standardization provides a strong foundation for growing disciplines, such as Customer Success, to interact confidently both internally and externally. Ensuring organization-wide synchronization of data is fundamental to winning the satisfaction of a discerning customer base.
When integrations are removed, in favor of a platform-based standardization between systems, organizations spend less on regression testing, reduce the risk of downtime, and create confidence that all team members are on exactly the same page.
A seamless, customer-centric approach
As pioneers in the current era of continuous digital transformation, services-based businesses are leading the way in simplifying and standardizing their business systems environment. In so doing, they’re redefining what it means to deliver services as a business.
Continuous transformation is the name of the game, as market dynamics continue to shift and change. Eliminating integrations, which threaten the capacity of the organization to confidently operate across functional lines, is a fundamental step to powering a transformation-enabled organization. And instrumenting an organization to confidently and competently handle continuous transformation opens the door to opportunities – and unfair advantage.
In today’s unsettled world, each customer interaction must be fully in tune with every other. Services-based organizations are blazing the trail, responding to relentless disruption with continuous transformation through a 'no integrations' approach, and delivering customer experiences that ensure future success.