2 Dec 2010

Improving Operational Processes: Part 2 – Using Business Integration To Tighten Up Disparate Systems

You may not believe it, but often the larger a company is, the more wasteful their operational processes become. And when you think about it, it makes sense: whereas a small business may go out and buy a simple CRM application that streamlines all of the business processes he or she needs to run the business smoothly, larger and more established businesses’ IT departments have to meet the ever-expanding demands of their business’ model. Therefore, the overall business solution becomes a sort of “patchwork” of disparate systems that often do not communicate with each other well – or at all, for that matter.

The result is a chain of manual steps added into the process for extracting, sharing and processing customers, accounts, products and other data that contributes to waste and errata in critical data for many companies.

In this way, disparate systems that link companies’ front-to-back-office departments eventually tend to perform inefficiently. When workload increases sharply or when the business needs to capture new information for regulators, large companies often deploy armies of data entry workers to cope with heavy workloads and new manual steps, until the IT function can catch up. As you can image, the results are never good; data quickly becomes very “humanised,” to put it euphemistically. Simply put: once you put the quality of computerized data into the domain of human data entry workers, the data itself is bound to degrade in quality and accuracy.

As a result, businesses lose money and flexibility in the process. Take banks, for example: Tight regulation, high volumes, and competition mean that banking institutions rely on the IT department’s ability to respond and automate processes.  Unfortunately, the complex web of disparate IT systems make it difficult for a bank to do this, which all too often results in more operational staff being recruited to manually process data. What happens as a result is that banking institutions are not able to capture the data needed to accurately track and assess risk, which means that their leveraged capital is not optimised.

Similar scenarios can be imagined for virtually any other industry vertical as well. Everything from customer service to inventory erodes when operational processes are not brought into line.

Business Integration Uses Resources Already In Place To Fix Disparate Systems


There’s no doubt that new off-the-shelf systems are always being developed to help businesses revamp their operational processes and deal with new regulations that put fresh demands on in-house IT departments. However, just because disparate systems within a company’s business solution are hampering operations doesn’t mean that they need to necessarily throw it all away. For the most part, these systems are still quite viable, and simply need to be reconfigured with one another in order to achieve a high level of quality and agility.

Integrella, for example, is strategically partnered with BluePrism, a company that offers an incredibly agile platform for improving business processes. Using their proven and repeatable approach to process improvement and software from BluePrism, Integrella estimates that they can reduce back office costs by 30% for a wide range of medium- to large-sized businesses, as well as run operational agility projects much faster. This of course opens the door to opportunities that would not be cost effective using traditional approaches.

In this way, Big Business can now channel the simpler, more streamlined approach that small businesses employ while still maintaining the complex business processes that are critical to their ongoing success.

Interested in hearing more about how business integration can streamline the operational business processes in your own company’s back-, middle-, or front office? Find out more about how Integrella can deliver solutions similar to the ones discussed in this article!

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