Effective integration is key for visibility

     

Visibility is a buzzword often heard when referring to the enterprise sector. Companies are always looking to improve oversight of myriad areas of the business in order to get a better idea of what's going on.

But gaining visibility can be a challenge. Organizations today are working with numerous applications, systems and networks - on premise, in the cloud and often both. And don't forget about the extensive supply chain network of vendors and suppliers scattered around the globe. It takes a wide lens to get a comprehensive view of it all at once.

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According to a recent SYS-CON Media report, the key to visibility is a business integration strategy combined with effective practices.

"Information flows into, within and out of organizations faster and in greater volumes than ever before," Hugh Garber wrote for the news provider. "Complicating matters is the growing number of vendor systems, applications and platforms that make up your company’s business infrastructure and touch even your most sensitive and mission-critical information."

However, such challenges can be dealt with if the company makes it a point to use business integration solutions when deploying new technology. Two of the most common forms of this process are A2A and B2B integration, each of which allows the company to gain visibility over different areas.

"If you don't have visibility into the data and files that are flowing between systems, applications and people - both inside and beyond the company firewall - things can go haywire very quickly," Garber said, highlighting lost files, damaged relationships and missed opportunities as the most serious implications.

A2A Integration

This area refers to the connection of internal software and systems like customer relationship management and enterprise resource planning, for example. It's important for information to flow freely between such systems to ensure they can work off each other.

B2B Integration

B2B integration solutions deal more with the collaboration efforts companies promote between themselves and business partners. For example, managed file transfer tools and electronic data interchange systems allow the organization to communicate and work better with all aspects of its supply chain.

Overall, experts say, integration is becoming increasingly important lately, as businesses are climbing out of the recession and looking to promote growth through the deployment of new technology, especially the cloud.