Business integration is key to fostering growth

     

There is much a company can do to foster greater growth within the organization, and it appears that many are turning to business integration as their top choice. According to a new report, business integration ranked among the methods companies will employ to become more intelligent, adaptive and responsive.

The 2011 Application Connection Priorities report from cloud application provider SnapLogic demonstrated how important business integration solutions will be to the continued adoption of cloud computing services. With A2A integration solutions, hosted applications are effectively implemented into existing systems, whether they be hosted or on premise.

According to the report, which pulled results from a poll of 100 IT executives, the number of companies deploying at least four Software-as-a-Service applications will double during the next 24 months to reach 33 percent. Also during this time, respondents expect the volume of enterprise data to grow at least 25 percent.

The combination of these two is leading to a greater need for companies to deploy business integration solutions, as the process presents numerous challenges. Forty-five percent of respondents said they have run into such problems.

"The biggest challenge companies face is getting this lifeblood of data flowing effectively throughout the entire organization," said Gaurav Dhillon, CEO of SnapLogic. "The ability to make fast, easy connections between multiple applications has quickly become a business necessity."

Respondents also acknowledged how much they would benefit from better integration of cloud-based applications. Half said better application connectivity would result in faster time-to-market cycles, and 49 percent said better decision-making would be a result.

"Businesses are inundated with data as they add more and more applications to their ecosystem and strive to listen to and engage with customers via social media channels - a trend that is only accelerating," Dhillion said.

A2A isn't the only form of business integration that could help companies grow. According to new research from Case Western Reserve University Weatherhead School of Management in Cleveland, Ohio, firms in the auto industry will also want to focus on B2B integration and collaboration, as the nature of the supply chain is changing.

Improving the manufacturing process and saving money will depend on how well companies work with members of their supply chains, according to the report. One other option is to squeeze the margins of lower-tier partners, but that will only lead to industry stagnation, researchers warned.