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As buyers and users of technology, much of the way we use business applications depends on the flow of data from open systems. Whether it’s synchronizing payroll, identifying new business opportunities, or sending platform alerts, open systems are key to successful business operations.
Business leaders must ensure that their technology partners can adapt with them as their business changes and that their technologies will work well together. This means choosing partners who have invested in APIs and are committed to an open system philosophy. Without the binding nature of APIs and open systems, data remains siled and limits our ability to build powerful software that drives business transformation.
Related: Open API: What’s Next?
The problem with siled data
In recent years, there has been a greater urgency for APIs and integrations to support broader business agility. In fact, nearly 80% of IT leaders indicated that Covid-19 made integrations a priority for their organization, and more than 60% indicated that they are putting more resources into integrations.
Despite the priority of increasing integrations, it is not a given that all companies will adopt open APIs and systems. Many vendors still lock down their systems or have siled data, preventing adjacent technologies from building strong integrations against their API. Conversely, software consumers also lose out because they can’t effectively combine all of their data.
Ultimately, this slows down the rate of innovation and can affect business results. For business leaders, adopting an open system mindset is a critical initiative, because organizations need flexible and resilient technology. As a result, leveraging the value of open systems enables you to elevate your business ecosystem, customer and people strategy, and innovation.
Related: Why Eliminating Your Data Silos Will Increase Your Business’ Efficiency and Productivity
Enhance your business ecosystem
For software consumers, it is imperative to have a business ecosystem that embraces open systems. And as a business leader, it’s your job to keep the broader goals in perspective and adapt your business to market, customer, and employee feedback. Often that means identifying how to handle your data, but that can be a big challenge when your data is spread across 50 different apps and providers.
We know that the number of cloud applications used among companies is increasing. In fact, the number of cloud apps used by organizations increased 25% in the first five months of 2022 alone. But an overcrowded tech stack can overwhelm your workflows and people when they constantly switch between platforms and experience “cloud fatigue.” of the system”. Instead, find fewer partners to help you build meaningful integrations. For example, if you outgrow your existing core HR platform, what happens to your remaining data and other platforms if they don’t integrate with the new solutions you’re implementing? ?
When selecting a provider, expect to be with them for a while, but be sure to check if you can build on top of their API, if they embrace open systems, and if they won’t prevent you from using your own data. Ask questions like: How is data access control? Does this work across my organization? Is it configurable enough for the ways we want to share data?
The value of integrations is being able to swap out the systems that make the most sense for the different stages of your business lifecycle. In today’s economy, successful businesses need to be able to measure and adjust which business applications are moving the needle, and you don’t want to be stuck with inflexible data and tools that don’t integrate with the rest of your business ecosystem.
Related: 3 Steps to Capitalize on Shared Data Experiences
Drive better results for EX and CX
For companies that develop software, the results of customers and employees are the most important. Increasingly, customers expect you to understand their needs and have connected and personalized journeys. Customers demand best-in-class experiences, which means tailoring your product to their needs can be a key competitive differentiator. The best way to achieve this is to embrace open systems and APIs, which allow customers to create personalized experiences.
With 66% of customers expecting companies to understand their unique needs and nearly 50% reporting they will renew or upgrade if requested integrations are offered, this is no longer a good thing, but a critical business advantage. If your data can’t be used to meet your customers’ needs, they’ll look elsewhere.
On the other hand, increased employee engagement and collaboration is one of the main benefits organizations experience when leveraging open APIs and systems. Open systems and APIs allow people managers and leaders to focus on creating valuable moments and experiences for employees rather than managing the logistics of people data. For example, critical moments along the employee journey, like onboarding, become much more seamless when data is open, connected, and integrated. From day one, employees can begin to understand your organization instead of making sure their birthday is in sync across all business applications.
For software consumers and producers, innovation is the foundation of successful businesses. But it is even more important when uncertainty becomes the new operating rhythm. Clients know this; In the wake of Covid-19, the vast majority of customers expect companies to accelerate their initiatives.
Open systems are critical to innovation because they allow endless opportunities to build on existing technology. As the market fluctuates and the struggle to keep up with customer needs accelerates, the ability to innovate quickly is how resilient companies will differentiate themselves. Plus, APIs help link your business applications so your people can spend more time on their work and less time making sure your data integrates seamlessly with another business application.
Data drives everything we do, from how we think about business operations to people strategy and product development. We can extract the most value from our data when we open up the flow of information to support rich business integrations. The future of work must be based on how we allow companies to use their data and how to make it accessible throughout the organization. Open systems, critical to the ability to scale, will set you apart from the competition by being better prepared for climate changes throughout your organization.