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Integrator or deliberator: Will your business still be around in 2020?

Charlie Li

Slow adaptation is a risk. The key components of core consumer offerings can quickly become distant memories in the minds of once-loyal customers, and companies who cling to the past are finding themselves watching the world – and opportunities – pass by before their eyes.

Integration and the new normal

Businesses fall into one of two camps. Those who are adapting to new technologies and ways of doing business are Integrators; those holding on to older ways of working are Deliberators.

Integrators have put in place a robust hybrid integration strategy, along with microservices-driven APIs, that not only give them a clear advantage today, but they’re also better equipped to anticipate and embrace the challenges of tomorrow.

It’s important to understand that the definition of integration has also evolved. Whereas an integration strategy would have previously been restricted to the sphere of IT, it has now expanded to encompass not only the whole company, but ecosystems that cross-organizational boundaries, with information flowing from system to system, before moving to platform integration.

In fact, one of the benefits of this new model of integration is the emergence of a new cultural relationship between the business and IT: today’s CIOs are business CIOs with an understanding and focus on the needs of the company.

This brings about vastly increased agility as a whole – not just the ability to adapt, but to anticipate opportunities. A new product might only have a small window of competitive advantage. It’s about having an idea on a Monday and bringing it to market by Friday.

Standing on the shoulders of giants

Seizing this advantage can pay huge dividends. Nearly half (49%) of Integrators report revenue growth of 5% or more over the past three years, while less than half that number (23%) of Deliberators reported similar growth.

One case in point is a global fast-food chain that transformed their entire middleware to create a suite of APIs to over haul their customer experience. That digital transformation not only introduced digital kiosks and table service, but also an app that employs machine learning to anticipate customers’ orders. An innovative geofencing capability also determines when a customer is approaching the restaurant, so that their order is as fresh as possible. The resulting leap in their share price was equally appetizing.

Integrators understand that the key to achieving this is embracing modernized hybrid integration and microservices-based APIs. These APIs knit together the data and functions of multiple applications on multiple systems, regardless of where they reside: they could be inside or outside the enterprise, in the cloud(s), or even on legacy environments.

This allows a business to focus on customer asset integration: integrating and enhancing the customer experience and bringing genuine innovation to the table.

Another example is a popular soft drink company who recently introduced a new vending machine that allows customers to not only customize their own drinks from a selection of flavors but to store and share their favorite mixes via an app.

These machines have become valuable business assets. Aside from the app tracking social media interactions and brand promotion, the APIs also allow the manufacturer to identify which flavors are trending; one territory might want lower sugar, another might lean strongly towards one flavor. This generates a significant amount of usable data for multiple business units, from marketing to supply chain management.

APIs: the key to long-term success

Integrators today are seeing multiple benefits of hybrid integration: faster speed to market with new products or services, better customer experience, and engagement, and revenue growth from new business models and market opportunities.

Enhanced resilience is another positive enjoyed by Integrators. They experience improved stability to their existing systems, and a stronger ability to support regulatory and security compliance.

Most importantly, it puts them in a far stronger place in terms of future-proofing their business. A hybrid integration strategy coupled with microservices-based APIs allows Integrators to be well equipped for the next decade of competition in business.

Preparing for the Soaring ‘20s

Regardless of the industry, it comes back to those two classes of business: Integrators and Deliberators. Which one you decide to be is going to be vital for the long-term success of your business.

The shift from Deliberator to Integrator can be a daunting one, particularly where there’s a dependence on legacy or monolithic systems. But Deliberators can take their place among the Integrators by engaging Capgemini’s services and using their expertise to digitally transform intelligently.

To find out more about how your business can go from Deliberator to Integrator, download our report, Unlocking the hybrid integration dividend and visit Capgemini’s website for more details.

The original Roaring Twenties ushered in a surging economy of mass consumerism; with history set to repeat itself, it’s vital to be prepared.