Interfaces as drivers of digitalization
There are now many tools and software solutions available to digitalize and map processes, but this usually poses new challenges: Once you have overcome the media discontinuity to paper, there are media discontinuities between IT systems and tools. But this is not the only reason why interfaces are becoming more and more important with increasing digitalization.
In the course of process digitalization, the same question always arises as to how the entire processes should now be mapped: Do you invest a lot of money in a comprehensive ERP that can map and integrate many processes, but is often very rigid? Or do you rely on specialist tools with the disadvantage of continuing to maintain media discontinuities? Especially with a customer portal, it makes sense to deliver the data from the ERP, but to design the user interface and processes for optimal user experience by means of (supplementary) individual software. We have also introduced successful web solutions for our customers Orion Rechtsschutz Versicherung and Kies & Recycling.
The topic of interfaces will continue to gain in importance. Especially in connection with cross-company processes and interactions. Digitalization often means that processes are optimized and integrated holistically, from the supplier to the customer. Instead of exchanging data via telephone or e-mail, the relevant information is automatically synchronized or made available via a standardized interface. On the one hand, this enables a better customer experience and additionally increases the capacities and scalability of the processes.
Win-win on both sides
Data can be made available in any format via a structured interface. This facilitated the integration and use of data on both sides. Thus, parsers ("converters") can be dispensed with in order to read out proprietary file formats. The use of an interface can go far beyond pure data delivery. For example, the API can deliver interpreted data or execute functions, so instead of just numbers, it can also provide a benchmark assessment or a command for the next workflow step. Several interfaces and data ports can be integrated to provide new insights and interpretations. Thus, added value can be created on both sides of the API interface by enabling new applications and simplifying the inclusion of external data.
The administration costs
The obstacles on the way should be well thought out and designed. On the one hand, the data architecture must be clearly defined internally, i.e. which system has sovereignty over which data and how often it is updated. In order to guarantee a high degree of flexibility, it is possible to decouple the interfaces from the systems using a so-called Enterprise Service Bus. With such a hub, the interfaces can be better standardized and decoupled from the IT systems. These can thus be exchanged without having to adapt connected systems, as long as the protocol of the hub remains the same. This increases the flexibility and speed with which new systems and partners can be connected. This is necessary to keep pace with the increasing digitalization and to be able to offer new services.
Want to learn more?
Would you like to learn more about the possibilities of interfaces and data synchronization? Contact us for a non-binding consultation and an initial analysis of your system landscape.