As the adoption of cloud solutions continues to rise, the awareness of the importance of a well-defined integration strategy and access to supporting technology heightens. Yet, this step in the overall digital transformation journey is much more than a simple vision of a flexible, scalable, profitable, and long-lasting ecosystem of connected systems and applications.

For companies already further along in their integration efforts, the advantages are felt much deeper across their operations. Integration is often considered an enabler of critical key business initiatives that are top of mind for CIOs. And the reason why is clear: a connected enterprise is in a much better position to meet customer’s needs, communicate effectively with trading partners and government agencies, and create innovative new business models quickly.

Below is a snapshot of different business use cases in which integration plays a key role.

Optimizing and automating business processes

Integrated applications, processes, and data enable organizations to increase operational agility and deliver compelling, personalized user experiences across business operations. They can embed intelligent technologies – such as robotic process automation – into existing applications to automate repetitive tasks and trigger actions based on predefined rules.

Strengthening e-government and regulatory compliance

In many countries, governments require companies to register electronically before sending critical business documents to intended agencies, such as taxation services and legal parties. Local authorities add further complexity to this compliance challenge by mandating unique requirements and updating and introducing new laws and regulations.

For companies with many lines of business that operate across several territorial jurisdictions, meeting compliance requirements is difficult and time-consuming when processes are manual. Effective integration technologies can automate the creation, processing, and completion of documents in compliance with legal requirements, streamlining everything from invoices and tax certificates to delivery notes with fewer risks and at a reduced cost.

Driving frictionless e-commerce and omnichannel engagement

With e-commerce becoming the new normal across most sectors, companies that deliver a superior online buying experience can boost their competitive edge. Efficient and scalable e-commerce platforms increase the ability to not only attract and retain customers, but also expands business ecosystems and market opportunities. Facilitating a well-coordinated flow of information across the enterprise, the platform connects to aspects of the customer experience, including legacy applications.

Seizing growth opportunities in the API economy

APIs present an opportunity to unlock data and unique services inside and outside the enterprise. With the right APIs in place, companies can quickly change processes, improve customer engagement, introduce new offerings, and collaborate across the digital ecosystem.

APIs enable the necessary information exchange across people, applications, networks, and devices. Therefore, businesses must create an effective API management strategy to operationalize the full value of these technologies across their ecosystem and inside each organization.

Increasing visibility with a 360-degree view of the business

Companies that successfully harness the value of their data outperform their peers. With better visibility across their organizations and value chains, they gain the agility and efficiency required to adapt to ever-changing market conditions.

Equipped with full situational awareness, organizations can anticipate customer needs, improve productivity across their operations, and capitalize on new business opportunities quickly. Furthermore, with an effective data integration strategy, they can integrate, harmonize, govern, and orchestrate their data to feed analytics and drive confident business decisions.

Achieving a competitive edge with real-time customer insight

Market leaders drive growth by meeting customer expectations better than their competitors. And at the heart of this capability is reliance on enterprise data to anticipate changing needs and preferences.

Armed with that knowledge, these companies devise new programs, offerings, and experiences to increase customer loyalty and expand their market reach. And with an integration strategy, they can quickly identify, connect, and harmonize processes and data needed to understand the customer journey and enhance experiences at each interaction point.

Establishing resilient B2B connections

With the integrated network economy poised to top US$60 trillion in 2025, stepping up collaboration with business partners is becoming a high priority.[1] Some companies are already preparing for this growth opportunity by actively scaling their ecosystem interactions to expand their market reach and generate revenues from new products and services. But the right integration strategy and technology can help build the efficient, secure, and scalable B2B platform needed to quickly connect and communicate with trading partners.

Future-proofing the IT landscape

IT modernization is an essential part of meeting evolving business priorities and customer needs. But such an effort is not just about implementing new technologies, but also extending legacy systems to support new business models and technology innovations.

A digital strategy that supports this approach allows companies to maintain continuous and smooth operations and engage effectively with a larger ecosystem that consumes and enhances their products and services. For example, an API-led integration initiative allows organizations to unlock the value of existing investments by securely exposing functionality and data in legacy applications and extending related business processes with new cloud applications.

Get ready to transform with focused, disciplined integration

Each of these use cases validates the need to continuously connect people, processes, data, and devices anywhere. By using integration as the first step in any innovation project, businesses are equipped with the platforms, insights, and processes necessary to meet the demands of the future while easing the way of doing business in today’s marketplace.

To learn more about integrating your IT landscape, explore how SAP Integration Suite (which is part of SAP Business Technology Platform) can help.

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