In the living world, nothing exists in a vacuum. Even if it doesn’t look like it, everything works together and forms a broad system – the ecosystem. We can (and must, in fact) apply this concept of integrated ecosystems to technology as well. It’s the age of big (and getting ever bigger) data, and everything that’s not connected at present will be linked together.
That’s why the ecosystem is the right metaphor for what’s been emerging in business. The linkages are growing and interacting. And the impact is huge. Users are getting better and greater access not just to information they need but to priceless new sources of insight and inspiration – all of which makes their work that much better and more efficient.
That’s only one of the reasons why we’re calling this technology merge an ecosystem. You see, being interconnected goes far beyond having simple links. It also means that anything weighty that happens in one of part of the ecosystem is going to impact the rest of the system. And because the system is complex, it’s hard to know, in the moment, when something major is happening.
That being said, there is still a truly large amount which we can predict. Industries vary, and businesses even more so. And yet, there are events that can be consistently forecasted. Because of that, we need to have a plan for what to do with those steady, predictable events. It’s the key to automating for success!
It really does comes down to automation. Anything that you can predict with great precision and constancy is a process that can be automated. Doing so frees up your human resources to do what people do best: Build. Create. Innovate.
What do we mean by automation in the integrated ecosystem?
I’ve talked a lot about automation before, so I won’t get into too much detail here. There are a few particular points to note in today’s post. The most valuable parts of the integrated ecosystem have the following elements:
- A standard platform compatible with most or all systems
- Really would have to start here. There’s no way to really join everything together if the different systems don’t understand each other.
- An open architecture
- Your systems have to allow easy connections so that you can give smooth access to clients, and partners (of course, you still have to maintain security).
- Consistent and reliable tracking functions
- You have to know what you’re doing and how well you’re doing it!
What are the benefits of an integrated ecosystem?
There are many benefits to having everything linked together. It’s true across a company’s entire network of employees, clients, and contacts.
How the Ecosystem Helps All Companies
- Reduced man-hours
- The biggest cost for most (if not all) companies is salary. That cost goes up with each man-hour spent on a task. Now, not all that time will be spent on ground-breaking efforts; there will be a lot of tedious (but necessary) tasks. Get rid of those monotonous tasks through automation, and the man-hours either go down or go toward more productive things! The ecosystem really lets us work smarter!
- Shortened time to completion
- There’s a pretty limited speed at which we move. Automation by integrating different systems in a company will cut down that time by a huge fraction.
- Falling total cost of management – stretch the IT budget
- When we put together the first two points I just mentioned we see one or two things happen. First, because the ecosystem lets us work smarter, more things will get done in a shorter time. Second, fewer people will be needed to achieve all this. The ROI simply spikes! You stretch IT budget and you use less effort!
How the Ecosystem Helps Your Suppliers
- Reduced man-hours
- It’s the same idea as before. The key parts where the ecosystem helps companies who work as suppliers is that they can automate customer support, reporting, and accounting.
- Better knowledge of client needs - As more technology integrates with each other, suppliers will have a better flow of communications with their customers and their customers’ systems. This in turn results in:
- Improved client service
- Increased client margin
How the Ecosystem Helps Your Partners
- New business prospects created
- Being part of an ecosystem means new gaps and niches can be found. This means that a company can open up new prospects with their current products. An even larger benefit is that being plugged in creates the context for finding new markets to enter. That’s always a good thing!
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So, along with the ecosystem, we’ve now covered the value of asset cost transparency and the digital employee fingerprint. There is still much more to know about how to navigate the next generation of technology and business process trends. We're Canada's leader in IT and telecom expense management- Contact us for more information!