Updated: Dec 22, 2021
Business wisdom of the 2020s says: "Those who do not engage in digital transformation are at great commercial risk." It's predicted that, in 2024, global spendings on digital transformation will grow up to $2.4tn.
So if you haven't thought about it yet, maybe it is worth starting. Meanwhile, we invite you to learn a little bit more about digital transformation. Namely: how you can painlessly survive this process using middleware.
But first things first.
What Is Enterprise Digital Transformation
Enter "digital transformation" into a Google search box, and you will be surprised at the amount of data. All technical innovations companies make support digital transformation (DX) goals achievement. Some say DX is a path with a point of arrival. Others believe that transformation is a part of corporate culture, and it's endless.
Talking in plain words, digital transformation is the business processes optimization through software implementation. It also has its logical conclusion. Let's consider a "smart factory" model that all manufacturers like Bosch and third companies like Verizon or IBM are striving for. It implies a total minimization of human intervention and intelligent software operating on wear-free equipment. Here, back-office employees work from home, and engineers provide on-site service only if they receive relevant notifications from the IoT system components.
A smart factory is the result of digital transformation. Although, "Is there a limit to perfection?" - remains a question.
However, now, companies think about the path itself and often find it difficult. And it is. But the enterprise that prefers the use of middleware will achieve results with less effort. Let's take a look at why.
What Issues Enterprise Middleware Can Solve
#1 Middleware can tie completely different apps
If you need the integration of systems distinct in age and functionality, you need middleware. It is the middle layer between different software. Using this approach, you do not need to change the components of both systems for seamless integration. It's enough to connect them through middleware.
For example, you want to achieve a coordinated interaction between legacy CRM and the new assortment management system. It is not compulsory to update them. Moreover, careless interference with the legacy system is often fraught with unprofitable consequences. So, it's better to fasten the middleware to both components. It will work as the intermediary, simplifying data exchange.
#2 Middleware can boost omnichannel approach
You probably know that omnichannel is impossible without flawless software integration. Omnichannel is the result of audience behavior impact on each corporate system operation.
If you want that your software components work like a Swiss watch, meeting customers' needs in real-time, quality integration is vital. Middleware usage can provide it, so it will effortlessly help you not deviate from the omnichannel path.
#3 Middleware architecture can support IT digital transformation
Moreover, digital transformation in any of its manifestations. Let's consider a case study.
Imagine, сompany X decided to upgrade or replace all existing systems because they were holding back the business. Unfortunately, it is impossible and wrong to do it in one go for several reasons:
rush will take a lot of resources
employees will not be ready for such drastic changes and, more likely, they will quit or use old methods
undermining load-bearing structures can seriously harm your business
Thus, in the best case, this approach cannot help to achieve the digital transformation goal. That's why company X started to move gradually, eliminating bottlenecks first.
Management decided to leave legacy CRM, ERP, and billing systems, changing the rest step by step. As you can imagine, a new product somehow needs to "make friends" with an existing one.
Besides, it is crucial to make the legacy systems' operation as easy as possible. Otherwise, they will betray at the most inopportune moment.
Talking about new systems, first of all, the company implemented the contact center software. To achieve the above goals, it was decided to use one middleware example - an order management system (OMS). The latter will take order data processing until they are finally confirmed.
Thus, OMS can perform several tasks:
integrates legacy ERP and new contact center software;
reduces the load on ERP;
guarantees the ability to change order data in real-time;
reduces the number of employee errors.
Later, the company decided to change the legacy CRM system. As you can imagine, the latter contains sensitive data. Their transmitting is one of the most challenging tasks within the entire development cycle.
Middleware services can simplify this task by keeping customer data secure and preventing their damage. Developers don't need to migrate all of the data in one go. They can gradually increase the load on the new system while maintaining the old one.
The risks of failure are minimal.
Thus, middleware allows the gradual implementation of innovations, having a qualitative impact on business development. But more specifically, what benefits can a business side receive from the middleware?
Reducing digital transformation costs.
Time is reserved for training employees and preparing them for new working conditions.
Flexibility in changing development directions.
Minimization of risks associated with loss of audience or systems' failure.
Advanced level of customer loyalty due to omnichannel.