A well-integrated organization’s connectivity is an asset. If done well, a strong network increases efficiency and can provide new insights into business processes. Ask anyone who has gone through an acquisition. Or rather, ask the employees of the newly-formed company. Representatives from both companies are tapped for task forces to bring everyone onto the same page. Those first task force meetings quickly expose how well a company was integrated pre and post merger. When a strong integration strategy is lacking, it’s often a game of Go Fish for information: “Can you show me a cut of sales just for the West?” or “Well, how do you ‘define’ the West’? (Translation: No, go fish.)
Do You Have Any Integration?
Teams want to make things work, so when they realize they have an inefficiently integrated set of systems, these task forces produce a set of new spreadsheets. These documents are sent back and forth, with highlighted areas of missing information or comments like, “This number never populates, so call Andrea, and she’ll get it to you.” (Poor Andrea—where is she getting the number?) Putting together a complete spreadsheet takes a village. Call it job stability or teamwork, but it’s not integration. Task forces like these wonder what benefits organization-wide integration provide when spreadsheets are the way work gets done. A well integrated system can increase visibility across the organization, giving you information you need at the right moment.
The sad truth for these employees is that they work within a poorly integrated company. Whether the offenders are rapid growth, constant mergers, and acquisitions, or short-term versus long-term planning, this organization is struggling to find the medium with which data can flow seamlessly. Updated architecture, such as an Enterprise Service Bus, is truly scalable. Re-examining how your company’s data is centralized is a good first step to becoming more efficiently integrated and putting an end to inefficient spreadsheet creation.
For more clues, check out our new white paper, “Four Clues Your Organization Suffers from Inefficient Integration.”