Remember last year when that zany dance move called Flossing came out? It caught like wildfire and spread all over the world. While significantly less cool and unlikely to go viral, integrated software may finally have its own “Flossing” moment in 2019.
Unlike Flossing, software integration is not a passing fad. Top strategists have been pushing the power of integrated software for years, but it seems only recently that businesses have started to listen.
In 2018, 70% of businesses said they planned to increase technology spending, a figure that translated to 2019 as well. But is 2019 any different from previous years? Let’s look at recent trends and stats to set the stage:
- In 2018, GDPR forced stricter data management and compliance for businesses
- Hybrid cloud adoption grew 3X in 2017, and growth continued in 2018
- Subscription-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) is predicted to grow at an 18% annual growth rate by 2020
- Investments in email marketing budgets are top of mind for 60% of marketers in 2019
- 91% of businesses with more than 11 employees now use CRM
- 76% of enterprises looked at cloud apps/platforms to streamline IT service delivery in 2018
- 54% of enterprises said cloud investments made IT collaboration with other departments crucial
- In a survey by Sage, 34% of respondents cited data entry/administration and customer service management as two of the most valuable data automation areas
- 73% of companies plan to move to a fully software-defined data center by 2020
So how does integration factor into these numbers? Two words: Competitive. Advantage. If your competitors are investing in the Cloud, focusing on customer service automation, rethinking IT collaboration, and employing one or more software systems, then your business must do the same to keep an edge in 2019.
Software integration hits all these marks (and then some) with its ability to connect data in one powerful ecosystem, while maintaining data security.
An invoice entered in your CRM is automatically copied to your ERP.
A list of new customers built in your marketing automation is automatically updated when statuses change in the CRM.
Service departments can comply with GDPR/privacy requests with greater speed and accuracy.
In essence, integrating your systems builds the environment for proper data automation and analysis, providing the insight and collaboration to stay two steps ahead.
It’s Written in the Cloud(s)
The exponential growth of the Cloud is a factor, too. Even if you still use a few on-premise solutions, it’s likely that at least SOME of your business software is utilizing the Cloud. The great thing about integrated software is, even if you don’t have the infrastructure to move ALL your systems to the Cloud, you can still create data transparencies with hybrid integrations. Hybrid integrations connect data from on-premise systems to Cloud systems, so you can stay competitive regardless of where your data resides. Even data behind firewalls is attainable, with some integration providers offering secured workarounds so you don’t have to expose your network.
Flossing Up the Food Chain
As with any viral sensation, Flossing began as a single post in the digital universe. From there, its influence expanded through shares on various connected systems: social media, email, YouTube, television, text message, etc. Flossing saturated the digital space with accessibility through these multiple channels, so everyone was able to experience the same content via their preferred methods. Its impact was amplified because the internet made it easy to share.
Integrated systems provide a similar “viral” experience for teams. Each team gets access to the same information, but through the outlet they prefer. Sales teams can access crucial financial data without leaving their CRM. Marketing teams can pull data from the CRM without leaving their preferred automation platform — It’s a beautiful medley of data transparency.
As more resources are allocated to Cloud growth in 2019, integrated software will keep stride to move smart businesses up the food chain. A bigger investment in streamlining and automation will mean a drive towards interconnected systems. It may not be as flashy as Flossing, but software integration is surely more useful and has greater longevity for your teams and your customers in 2019 and beyond.
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