18 Dec 2017

Rise of the ecosystem: Where does your business fit?

Technology architectures of any kind tend not to be simple things.

But with today’s mix of interdependent and connected digital elements spanning the various flavours of cloud, mobile devices and apps, IoT and the surging volumes of complex data sets, it’s fair to say we’re seeing greater complexity than ever before.

Naturally this has important implications for all organisations, but especially those charged with managing and evolving their technology environment to keep pace.

What and how many technologies and suppliers are you already dealing with, and what new products and partnerships are you thinking of introducing to the mix?

But perhaps the more important consideration for organisations contemplating a new piece of technology is the nature of the broader ecosystem from which it came.

Today’s modern digital environment is highly complex meaning that no decisions can be made in isolation, which certainly means no deployment of new technologies can occur without proper testing and assessment.

For every action there is a reaction

Getting the right technology in place at the right time can reap impressive business benefits. Conversely, getting it wrong can be expensive and have knock-on effects diverting resources from more worth endeavours.

Take as an example the popular CRM (Customer Relationship Management) platform, Salesforce.com. Users can use it to access other tools such as proposal generators and marketing automation.

But these tools don’t work unless the business’s data actually resides within the Salesforce.com app. Likewise, if a business wants to use the Microsoft Stack, they must choose Azure as their cloud provider.

Of course, that doesn’t need to be a bad thing. Today’s digital ecosystems have evolved to provide businesses with the best combination of tools that work together seamlessly. But as the Salesforce.com and Microsoft examples show, companies need to consider the broader ecosystem before committing to a single tool.

The top 7 questions you need to address before introducing new tools

1- Does the core application meet the business’s requirements?

Make sure the application or tool you’ve selected is the best option for the task or problem you’re trying to solve.

2- What existing capabilities complement the tool?

Consider what is it about the ecosystem you currently have that might further assist it in helping the business meet its objectives

3- How much integration work is needed?

Understand the degree of effort and cost needed to make the app and its new ecosystem work together.

4- Is the price right?

Be mindful of your budget as some products are more expensive because the ecosystem is so broad.

5- How will the existing ecosystem react?

Take steps to discern the impact of the new technology on your existing business processes.

6- Are your apps secure?

Maintain a close audit of the existing and new apps and what they mean for the security of your ecosystem.

7- Will the new tools or apps provide insight?

Be sure to choose tools that offer good analytics, clear visibility, and comprehensive reporting capabilities.

The choice of an important new piece of technology for your business is not to be taken lightly.

More than ever before it’s incumbent on organisations to develop a deep understanding of the broader technology ecosystem that informs’ the development of a new piece of technology being readied for deployment.

Approaching this task strategically can help businesses reap big savings in time and money as they progress on their digital transformation journeys. Those that make the right choices and get the settings right can achieve significant competitive advantages.

At Brennan IT we have more than 20 years’ experience helping organisations manage the introduction of new technologies and solutions to complement existing IT systems.

Talk to one of our qualified engineers today and start the conversation about how best match new digital technologies and their underlying ecosystems to optimise success for your business.

Top