The other week I had the pleasure of visiting a particularly beautiful part of our country; Öland.
On my way there, after a very long walk at Arlanda, I walked from terminal building F to C…. I entered the gate to take the plane to Kalmar. “Hi Matts” I heard from behind me. I turn around and see a smile from a former colleague. We worked together at Frontec in the 90s and then at eBuilder in the 00s.
As usual, he began to enthusiastically recount a number of events that he had experienced. He just came from a seminar in Stockholm.
One of the country’s most talked-about municipalities in the field of digitalization had spoken there. There was talk of the difficulty of integrating business systems with each other. My friend got the impression that much of the anxiety was because it is so technically difficult.
Frontec, where my former colleague and I worked, invented what is called a message broker in the mid-1980s. The tool was called AMTrix, where AMT stands for Application Messaging Technology. Today, it’s more like an integration platform.
All the names are good and descriptive, because it is about taking information from one business system to another. Both cleanly to move the information, but more importantly to interpret and translate it from one system to another if necessary.
My colleague and I fully agreed that creating integration between different business systems is technically no problem at all. We have been doing this for almost 40 years and there are well-developed models for how to do it, as well as a number of good integration platforms.
We further agreed that for the uninitiated, it may be seen as technically difficult, but this is not the case. I repeat: building integrations between your business systems is not technically difficult!
So if technology is not the problem, what is?
You guessed it: it’s the will that counts.
- The willingness of suppliers to open up their systems.
- The willingness of the IT department to engage and acquire knowledge in system integration.
- The willingness to acquire the necessary knowledge to carry out integrations.
- Interest in investing in acquiring an integration platform.
Those who do not want to, they often use the argument that it is so difficult. It’s just a trick to bring blue haze to the eyes of the uninitiated. Because it feels like it could be very difficult, doesn’t it?
It is extremely important that you understand that to succeed in creating digitalized processes, you need to integrate the existing business systems!
Then you also have to make sure that there is a willingness to do so.
You must make these demands on your suppliers and on your IT department. Put on your sunglasses to resist the blue haze and just wear them.
You have to be tough on suppliers: open up or get out!
You cannot afford, either in time or money, to wait for a new procurement process to take place in a year or so. You must act now. If the supplier does not want to participate in open thinking and in your open system structure, then they are not the right supplier for you.
The reluctance I see is linked to fear. From suppliers, the fear is to lose business when others can use “our” data in “our” system and we cannot build the solutions ourselves. However, they will never be able to keep up with the development of their systems at the pace that all their customers will need.
But rather than losing their own fictitious business, they stop your development. You must put a stop to that. Now. Only you can do that. Because if you don’t force them to open up, it won’t happen.
Would you like support in the form of a short check-up on your processes and their integration needs? Then contact me and let’s have a discussion. You will experience how a whole long process integrates with several different business systems and what they could look like for you. Contact me today.