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One of the things that organizations are starting to appreciate more is how pivotal managed integration capabilities are, when it comes to achieving any digital business transformation goal. The challenge they all face is that most organizations are not especially good at consistently integrating much of anything.

A survey of 509 participants that design, build and manage applications or infrastructure integrations in organizations based in North America and Europe finds 74 percent of companies lost more revenue due to integration issues in 2020 than they did in 2019. A total of 88 percent admit they lost orders, with 25 percent admitting they really don’t know how many orders they are losing.

Conducted by Dimensional Research on behalf of Cleo, a provider of IT services, the survey also notes 96 percent of companies say they’ll focus more on cloud migration and digital transformation in 2021.

New applications create challenges

Obviously, the more new applications there are to integrate, the more challenging digital business transformations become. It begs the question whether more organizations would be better off relying on a managed integration service to achieve their digital business transformation goals. After all, in most cases digital business transformation is little more than figuring out how to get data from one system into one where it can be analyzed. Armed with that insight, it then becomes possible to not only make better business decisions but also ultimately provide customers with a better overall experience.

IT services providers over the last year have done fairly well integrating applications to drive multiple digital business process transformation projects. However, as it becomes apparent that digital business process transformation is essentially a continuous process, it may make sense to manage integration as a true service, versus treating each initiative as a distinct and isolated project. In many cases, the actual integration effort itself doesn’t provide much differentiated value. Businesses are a lot more interested in the outcome enabled by the transformation than they are in how it was achieved.

Managed integration platforms

It’s also worth noting that most smaller organizations are not going to be able to afford to stand up their own integration platforms. Many may tap into integration platforms that are offered as a cloud service, but there’s still a need to align those platforms with specific workflows. Most smaller companies will also find themselves trying to integrate with multiple digital ecosystems that have been established by larger trading partners. Each of those larger companies will naturally have standardized on a different integration platform, that they will expect all their smaller partners to be able to invoke, regardless of their actual level of IT expertise.

It’s not clear how organizations would respond to a simple managed integration service offering, or if managed services providers (MSPs) should market these offerings as digital business process transformation platforms. Regardless of how they are positioned, more than a few digital business process transformation initiatives are about to fail because of a lack of integration expertise. Arguably, there’s never been a better opportunity for MSPs to help their clients at a time when many organizations are about to find themselves in a serious state of digital distress.

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Mike Vizard

Posted by Mike Vizard

Mike Vizard has covered IT for more than 25 years, and has edited or contributed to a number of tech publications including InfoWorld, eWeek, CRN, Baseline, ComputerWorld, TMCNet, and Digital Review. He currently blogs for IT Business Edge and contributes to CIOinsight, The Channel Insider, Programmableweb and Slashdot. Mike blogs about emerging cloud technology for Smarter MSP.

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