The user profile of those working closely with integration platforms is changing. This shift is representative across society as a whole, as more users interface with technology in increasingly complex ways, beginning in their day-to-day lives as consumers. Everything from smart refrigerators to baby monitoring ankle bracelets to intelligent parking meters—these all use significant integration. This more intimate use of technology has generated a shift in the way users work with enterprise software. Integration platforms are seeing a distinct shift in users from those with IT backgrounds to business. These new business users interacting with integration platforms are not very technical, although they are significantly more familiar with web and Internet concepts.
Out With the Old, in With the New
New users mean new ways of using integration platforms, which require the system to be customized to help adequately solve business challenges. An example is a salesperson who is assigned to prospect a certain region in which they manage a number of accounts. Their first step would be to research their account list; then for each account, mine their personal social network for connections and introductions (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.). Following this step, they may begin the cold calling process to generate leads. However, this process is highly inefficient and often results in countless hours of failed attempts.
Contrary to popular belief, this is actually an integration problem.
Using Integration Platforms in a Different Way
Five years ago, a salesperson might have called his/her IT department and asked them to help solve an inefficiency problem: All social networks were disparate, and the user needed to connect all pieces of their network together and correlate it with their CRM application. This process inherently takes a long time.
In the current environment, business users are far more savvy and less patient. They are hungry to “draw a line” from a box in their social networks to their CRM system, and they expect the data to flow from one place to another—on-demand and without installing any software. Explode the number of data sources and destinations, and this starts to look quite interesting. It’s essentially mapping the data connections on the planet; just like a social network maps, this represents the human connections on the planet.
The new business user working with a complex integration platform isn’t just a salesperson. Users may range from doctors to accountants, and this leap forward in technology use will be reflected in productivity, increased customer service, and engagement.
Ensure your integration platform is benefiting all users in your organization. Explore our Integration Maturity Assessment.