Data Silos from Point Solutions are Killing Operational Efficiency

risky domino over a financial business chart

The really good news about today’s technology is that businesses have thousands of options when it comes to apps that claim to make your business successful. But there’s a downside.

You likely have apps for:

  • Accounting
  • Payroll
  • Customer management
  • Project management
  • Marketing
  • Sales
  • Customer Support
  • Payments
  • Team collaboration
  • Human resources
  • Business performance monitoring
  • Business management

Just to name a few. And that’s the bad news. With all the apps to choose from on your desktop, phone or in the cloud, it can be mind boggling to determine what will work best to reach your business goals.

Not to mention that your team members have options to use apps that make their work easier which may not align with what your business has chosen.

And that’s not the worst news. Because technology moves so fast these days, it’s tough to take a strategic approach to choosing just the right app for your business. Many times you end up with a convoluted set of apps that don’t communicate with each other and contain duplicate data that can cause expensive business mistakes.

You can spend a lot of time defining workflows and processes that will compensate for the disconnection of these applications, but that’s an expensive route to take and totally inefficient in today’s business environment. You’ll never be sure if you have the right information from the right app to make the most informed decision.

Here are a couple of sample scenarios that could derail your business.

Scenario #1: Each of your sales people have an app on their phone which gives them the capability to process credit card payments on the spot when working with a customer. The payment gets processed and recorded in your payments app and the customer gets an email receipt. Your payments app passes the sales amount to your accounting app and the sale is recorded, but the customer information never gets updated in your customer contact app. It’s the responsibility of your sales people to manually enter the contact details of each customer into that app on a weekly basis. It’s the least favorite thing for them to do so they have a tendency to let things pile up. Until the record is entered, the only place it exists is in the personal email account of the person who made the sale. Your customer data will always be out of sync. That makes it next to impossible to get an accurate on demand report of customers who have made a specific purchase.

Scenario #2: You have a customer who’s had consistent problems with one of your products. You’ve had numerous interactions with this person in your customer support app and are close to resolving the issue after some very heated discussions. You’ve promised the customer you’ll get this issue resolved and no one else from your company will contact them. The support app doesn’t pass data to your customer contact app; this requires a manual update. Those updates are backlogged for the last month. Your marketing team is planning a campaign that will target all the customers who have purchased a specific item to upsell them to the top tier version of the product so they pull the data from your customer contact app. Your customer is one of those people. The customer is contacted by your sales staff at the direction of marketing – and it doesn’t end well.

Here’s the bottom line.

You can have a bunch of apps that do specific things really well, but if those apps don’t communicate it will impact your ability to run your business efficiently and get optimal results. Join or watch cloud computing visionary, David Linthicum and Michael Wacht, VP of Operations & Infrastructure, Helm Inc., discuss these issues and provide best practices to solve for them, today at 1:00 PM ET. Register now for the live event or onDemand recording.

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