Why data has to come first in your integration journey

BrandPost By CIO UK, in association with Boomi
Sep 15, 2021
Data Integration

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Integrating your enterprise systems and their underlying data cannot happen in isolation, instead, breaking down silos and prioritising data quality should be the key pillars to any enterprise integration project.

This was the primary takeaway from a recent exclusive CIO roundtable event, hosted by Boomi. “The correlation between legacy integration and the need to have quality information came through loud and clear,” Mike Kiersey, Director of the Global Technology Office and CTO for EMEA at Boomi said after the discussion.

More specifically, the issue most attendees were wrestling with was how to balance the need to manage and integrate a complex, and fast-growing business application landscape, with the increasingly data-hungry needs of their users. In the race to digitise and stay ahead of the competition, joined up, analysis-ready enterprise data and best of breed technology are the key building blocks to realigning an organisation to better utilise its data to deliver new products and improved services to customers.

Take the broadcaster Sky as an example. Before turning to Boomi, the tech support team was juggling 21 different tools to run checks on its communication systems. By integrating these systems and unifying the customer data, Sky was able to boost its repair times by 75% and saw its net promoter score grow by 10 points as a result. “We needed to move into something transformational, to connect all of the underlying data sources and process them with intelligent algorithms,” said Olive Perrins, service strategy manager at Sky.

These types of projects typically aim to:

  • Protect data – not just backing up effectively, but making the business resilient around its data.
  • Build a data-centric culture ­– building cultural engagement around data and realigning how the business uses its data resources.
  • Uncover new insight – how does the business capitalize on its data? There are huge gains to be made by better integrating enterprise data sources.

To achieve these goals, taking a data-first approach to integration is an important mindset for anyone embarking on a project like this. Bringing together ERP, CRM or any other systems your business relies on, should only be started when a clearly mapped data strategy has been established beforehand.

This also requires a high degree of collaboration between IT, data and line of business teams, to establish the desired outcomes and prioritise the best integration opportunities for early wins. This will help secure broader business buy-in and drive forward your integration strategy across the enterprise.

“It’s about having that balance between your integration of cloud-based services and making sure you have the data governance truly in place first, so that doesn’t end up slowing you down,” Kiersey said.

That all may sound very compelling, but where do you start?

“Start by sitting down to understand what are the key challenges, where is that pain being felt the most, what are our key systems and where can we discover and understand where those challenges lie and what comes first,” Kiersey advised. “Having a harmonized view of data quality and integration needs to be considered as part of an overarching architectural framework.”

For more information on how Boomi can help you establish a more integrated and data-centric enterprise, visit: https://boomi.com/