Each year, technology experts forecast what solutions, services and innovations will be most popular in the next 12 months, driving new business models, practices and decisions. In 2013, industry pros agreed that business integration solutions will remain a core component of enterprise technology environments, as more companies look to organize and streamline internal operations as well as interactions with external partners and providers.
Speed of integration increases
According to Eval-Source, one major technology trend in 2013 is the ease of use and faster performance of business integration solutions. As companies expand into global markets and share information with business partners, the need for integration technology is on the rise. One of the ways the b2b integration market has evolved is the emergence of sophisticated, but easy-to-use solutions. For example, as a company adopts one component of an integration package, others can be added over time to complement existing infrastructure and strengthen collaboration throughout a supply chain, business model or network.
Because business integration technology can be purchased and deployed internally or managed by experts, there are customizable ways to connect operating systems and platforms to complement business growth and development. When collaborating with trading partners and other third-party entities, businesses should utilize integration solutions that provide:
- Support for a variety of communication standards, protocols, data formats and files
- Data mapping and translation features for all information formats
- Data transfer security solutions
- Onboarding capabilities
- Document conversion and processing
- Processing models and templates
- Extensions for application sharing and tool customization
Once business integration tools have been selected and deployed, a company can start to gain visibility into business processes and interconnectivity. Decision makers will be able to track performance and activities, monitor mobile technology access and use, as well as conduct reports and oversee trends using a customizable dashboard.
Internal collaboration important as well
Just as connectivity with external partners, suppliers and clients is important in the globalized marketplace, it is also vital for internal departments and supply chains to be operating on the same systems and be able to take full advantage of information-sharing resources. More companies are adopting internal collaboration tools to enable instant access to information from any device on the network, rapid sharing of information and constant communication channels to accelerate decision making. The latest generation of collaboration tools aim to streamline operations, reduce redundant and inaccurate tasks, and expedite the completion of tasks between locations.
It is important to note that these trends apply to businesses of all sizes. Larger enterprise may find it beneficial to act as leaders in their partner networks, facilitating the implementation of more robust collaboration technology. In addition, it is essential that such projects encourage collaboration as a core component of organizational culture. After all, the more communication tools that are in place throughout a network, the easier it will be for management to oversee financial performance and identify areas for reduced operational costs. When a business can operate more efficiently while improving relationships with external partners, the technology involved has demonstrated its value in both the short and long term.
Is your organization setting the standards for future trends in B2B integration in collaboration? Not sure? Enjoy our complimentary informative kit on all things B2Bi: