Connected businesses grow revenue and outperform peers by increasing customer engagement, enhancing productivity, and seizing market opportunity. A connected business seamlessly integrates people, process, and data across an extended value chain, decreases interaction cost, and automatically adapts business activity in response to market events.
The connected business environment is:
- Integrated: accelerates interactions inside and outside the organization
- Accessible: reduces interaction friction and cost
- Collaborative: increases engagement and enhances productivity
- Adaptive: senses business activity and automatically adapts
Figure 1: Connected Business Environment Attributes
How do you build an accessible, integrated, collaborative, and adaptive business environment?
How do you build a Connected Business?
To build a Connected Business, ensure your IT delivery model is creating a more integrated, accessible, collaborative, and adaptive business environment. Many organizations are adopting New IT delivery models based on:
- API-centric, event-driven, and Service-Oriented Architecture
- Mobile access and user engagement platforms
- DevOps practices and Cloud-Native platforms
- BigData analytics and business activity monitoring
How do you build an Integrated Business?
By integrating business data, processes, rules, services and capabilities between internal and external IT assets, IT teams create an environment accelerating business interactions inside, outside, and across organizational boundaries.
Consider the following roadmap items when moving towards an integrated business environment:
- Deliver self-service applications enabling customers to connect and view available products, inventory, and transaction status.
- Publish APIs exposing data/process and enabling connection
- Deliver automated notifications based on business activity (triggered by messages, transaction execution, and data state changes)
To achieve the roadmap items, encourage teams to incorporate user engagement servers and rapid development environments that deliver micro-sites and dashboards. Efficiently publish APIs and gain adoption by evolving integration technology to include API management capabilities. To accelerate business interactions, implement notification push scenarios that deliver interaction triggers to relevant participants.
How do you build an Accessible Business?
Scaling customers and revenue growth requires reaching out into new markets and across diverse channels. As customers and prospects gain increased access to your support services, product marketing, and sales associates, your business has an opportunity to increase sales and customer retention. Effective IT teams create an accessible, connected business environment that reduces interaction friction, and decreases interaction cost.
Consider the following roadmap items when moving towards an accessible business environment:
- Publish APIs
- Offer developer portals and developer self-service
- Create mobile applications
- Offer customer self-service to compare products, review price and availability, place orders, check order status, and contact support.
- Foster a customer community and increase brand awareness by integrating with social forums and interfacing with product advocates.
Technology disciplines increasing accessibility include web applications, mobile applications, APIs, web services, and federated identity management (across customers and partners).
How do you build a Collaborative Business
Increase engagement and enhance productivity by improving the collaboration experience
Connected business participants more effectively collaborate by advancing their collaboration environment from:
- Static reports towards dynamic analytic dashboards
- Email towards Activity Stream feeds
- File folders towards workspaces
- Batch data transfer towards Event streams
Innovative, next-generation platforms decrease the IT effort required to build a more collaborative, connected business. IT teams are partnering with their core business counterparts to map activities, define key business events, and establish business-oriented workspaces that incorporate business activity streams.
How do you build an Adaptive Business
An adaptive business senses business activity and automatically adapts supply chain orders, modifies inventory distribution, tunes product placement, and adjusts marketing messages. By proactively adapting business interactions and executions based on market signals, organizations can create a just-in-time, agile business environment that seizes business opportunities.
Consider the following roadmap items when moving towards an adaptive business environment:
- Capture business activity (identified by messages, transaction execution, and data state changes) and store data points for future analytics
- Deliver automated notifications to stakeholders and systems based on business activity, stakeholder accountability, and authority.
- Automatically adapt business process execution based on events and current conditions