Don't let old networks stall business integration

Johannesburg, 30 May 2018
Read time 4min 10sec

"If it ain't broke, don't fix it", said no successful business in the digital age. This philosophy may seem like a logical reason to avoid investing in infrastructure modernisation but it has no place in a rapidly changing business landscape. Transformation is central to the modern world and advances in technology continue to redefine how we do business. It is also redefining how we think about, use, structure and store data.

Preserving an old network can slow down business integration, innovation and progress. These networks are marred by a silo mentality that hampers the cross-departmental flow of data, resources, insights and ideas. To utilise data as a competitive advantage, business and data integration is essential. Data digitisation and a modernised network are the first steps towards business integration.

To develop a new product, improve the quality and speed of customer service and to make faster and more accurate strategic decisions, employees need instant access to integrated data from many different departments and systems. Business integration aims to bring business objectives and information technology (IT) closer together. It is a reflection of how well IT is immersed as a vital business function.

The shackles of legacy systems

Old networks consist of legacy systems built up over decades, each upgrade adding a level of complexity few individuals today know how to navigate. Legacy systems have become an expensive and unreliable foundation to build on. The lack of support and understanding of bygone languages make these systems difficult to modify, expand and repair. They also lack the necessary back end systems to support new applications.

The main problem with old networks is that they can't accommodate rapid change, automation and new technologies. Mobile-first strategies, for example, are essential to business success. Outdated systems, however, are not designed with expanding mobile services and social networks in mind.

The unavoidable winds of change

Today, change has to be at the core of the business model. Automated and programmable networks are becoming a strategic component of innovation and have to be fast, flexible, responsive and cost-effective. Modern networks and cloud systems offer a platform from which businesses can implement new services and deliver superior customer experiences. It streamlines cross-departmental collaboration and drives integration, from systems and processes to services and teams.

Nashua's free office assessment is all it takes to ensure your equipment, software, processes and document workflow are streamlined to improve operational efficiency and minimise wastage and costs.

Digital start-ups born in the cloud can quickly disrupt conventional business models. The benefits of cloud-based solutions are driving established businesses to take the plunge despite challenges of migrating large and complex systems and applications. The transition offers a unique opportunity for businesses to think differently about traditional systems and to challenge its relevance in light of business objectives.

Implementing new networks can disrupt operations and affect performance. To limit the impact of a cloud transition, consider the following:

* Get a digitised grip on data: Unstructured business data includes any conceivable business document, from invoices and orders, to remittances and contracts. Nashua's Managed Document Solutions (MDS) is an automated process that can optimise the way your business data is digitised, managed, stored and accessed, eliminating the inefficiencies, errors and security risks inherent in utilising a manual system.

* Set a baseline for service performance: To minimise the impact on service levels and the user experience, set clearly defined performance characteristics. Consider how systems are being used, the applications and functions used most often and how long transactions take to complete.

* Migrate in phases: For what would serve as a foundation for the future, be sure to build a solid cloud platform before migrating. Consider system components and functionality, technology tiers and user groups when determining which systems or parts thereof to move together.

* Don't expect to plug and play: For legacy systems to work on commodity platforms, changes may need to be made to the application stack and engineering processes. The more aspects of the system you can commoditise and automate in the process of migration, the more you can amplify the flexibility, responsiveness and cost benefits of a cloud-based business.

To build a future-proof foundation and benefit from modern technologies, partner with an integrated business solutions provider and take the first step away from legacy systems with scalable solutions that give you the freedom and flexibility to grow your business on solid ground.

Editorial contacts
Gullan&Gullan Thulisile Mhlongo (+27) 11 887 6591
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