25 May Integrations facilitate remote working
In a remote work environment, it is more important than ever to unify our working channels and to ensure access to information from the different technology used. Integrations facilitate remote work and are necessary to unify the work model and eliminate information silos.
Remote work is no longer just a trend, is has become a practical solution. The COVID 19 pandemic has forced governments around the world to enforce confinement on the general population. In light of the new circumstances, organisations around the world have had to adapt their working model to remote work with varying degrees of success.
Unfortunately, the remote work model can highlight some of our system’s shortcomings regarding communication, coordination and 100% access to information. Now more than ever, our teams need easy access to information and communication channels to effectively carry out their duties.
The main problem behind these shortcomings is often linked to the lack of integration between all the tools that make up our software ecosystem.
For many years we have been acquiring software from different sources, and over time, some of these tools have become technologically obsolete, making it impossible to integrate them into the system. For this reason, there are now information silos that make it difficult to automate certain processes, which become more necessary in a remote working environment.
We must understand that the problem is not remote working, but not having all the software tools integrated, thus not ensuring the correct access to the information.
Why integrations are necessary and how they facilitate remote work
There is no software on the market that covers all the needs an organization has, and therefore we must acquire or develop different applications that give us solutions to specific aspects of our business activities.
In general, companies usually have different types of software to respond to the different needs of their organization:
- ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), to manage invoices, general administration of costs, expenses, payments, collections, production, logistics, etc.
- CRM (Customer Relationship Management), to manage relations with active or potential customers.
- BPM (Business Process Management), is especially aimed at the digitalization of company processes. It provides a high level of control of the company’s activities, enables control over the entire organization, and thanks to its intelligent queries provides valuable information for decision making.
- CMS (Content Management System) to manage website content.
Alternatively, organizations use other software tools to communicate, generate documentation, and store and organize it.
Digital transformation and integrations facilitate remote working
Nowadays, organizations use different software tools to perform different tasks, and each one of them generates valuable information for companies. Thus, the challenge for organizations is to transmit their entire information system so that there are no silos that prevent access to data.
As we mentioned in our article Process Automation and Remote Work, only companies that are implementing a comprehensive digital transformation are prepared for remote work. To achieve 100% automation, they must be able to access all the information in the enterprise, regardless of the tool or technology used to record it.
In an automated system, there must not be any clusters within the system that only allow manual access.
Unifying the work channel
Coordination at work, communication and access to information throughout the whole system are without a doubt very important elements when we work in a face-to-face environment, but in a remote work environment they are essential.
A single channel that can be used for communication, to coordinate, send and execute tasks, and access the information required to effectively carry out day-to-day work, is invaluable when it comes to optimizing team efficiency.
Integrating with connectors
All organizations have a software ecosystem where different technologies and software from multiple sources coexist and need to be integrated. The data generated by any company is vital for its decision making, and therefore its commercial success depends largely on its ability to extract and analyse this data.
We cannot move forward with our digital transformation project if our automated processes do not have access to all the information. In order to create these applications, we need tools that offer agile development, and that include connectors that facilitate integration with other software platforms.
Low-code tools can be used to automate a process and RPA can obtain data from a legacy system that has become obsolete. It is also very common that the information driven by the process eventually ends up interacting with an ERP to issue an invoice.
In addition, it is becoming increasingly more common for the process workflow to include a chatbot or connect with other forms of artificial intelligence.
Integrations are necessary because they combine information from different sources and turn it into reliable and valuable data. They allow us to focus on the customer and listen to them by collecting data from their interactions with the system. Integrations also allow us to connect our system to the most advanced technologies.