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By James Springham
Replacing a major operational business system such your ERP, WMS or Ecommerce platform is not a decision that any retailer takes lightly due to the inherent complexity and business disruption. Business cases for such transformational change can vary significantly and in the case of an ERP replacement will likely be mandatory, perhaps because the legacy technology has reached end of life. Whatever the case for change, a constant is that these types of projects offer an unparalleled opportunity to put data at the heart of your business. They also offer a unique opportunity to create a future proof data architecture which minimises the cost of future change.
Whilst new systems are exciting, and give the capability to do different things, the integration and data exchange with existing systems can be seen as a headache rather than an opportunity.
Too often the decisions around systems integration are made on a short-term basis, by stakeholders targeted on project delivery, without considering the bigger picture on how data can/should be used thus creating challenges down the line.
There are scenarios when an ‘out of the box’ integration platform might be appropriate for simple integrations with non-complex data, or where building point to point integrations for efficiency is a sensible approach.
However, in a world where the ability to manage and surface data properly for both analytical use cases and real time data to power complex experiences, this will not work at scale and an increasingly complex web of integrations will make extracting value from data very difficult, not to mention exponential technical support burdens.
Where the data opportunities lie is in using the systems replacement as the first step to build a central repository of data and data services, which can support future integrations and other use cases. The Enterprise Data Hub from Clekt is built specifically to help businesses to connect their systems, but at the same time put data at the heart of the business.
Data flows through the Enterprise Data Hub to enable real time integration between operational systems, but also store all business event data to create a central hub from which to perform sophisticated analytics. This can be used to create a “plug & play” architecture whereby implementing future systems and initiatives becomes much easier with one pool of high-quality data to access.
It’s time to re-think new operational systems integration as an opportunity to start building the foundations of a central view of your data. With no additional costs, above and beyond what you would spend already, the Enterprise Data Hub is providing the efficiency for future projects. If you plan now to make data accessible and available for your business to benefit from – the future potential is huge.
Get in touch to discuss how we can put data at the heart of your business.