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What does the future of B2B integration look like?
Integration has become a huge part of successful business. True integration can lead to many benefits, such as reduced costs, increased efficiency through automation, and therefore greater revenue. So, it is no wonder why businesses are looking to integrate their systems wherever possible! The question is, how are they going about it?
Well, Gartner predicted that: “By 2020, integration brokerage will be consumed as an embedded service 75% of the time and as a stand-alone service 25% of the time.”
If this is now the case, the pressure is on System Integrator, iPaaS, and alike businesses to deliver true integration.
Where are B2B businesses currently using integration?
According to Gartner’s 2019 Business Application Integration survey, 72% of organisations have integrated ERP, 64% CRM and 52% cloud office applications. However, as a business who specialises in integration, you will know that this is only scratching the surface.
What about external systems they need to connect to and pass data to and from? Most businesses need to connect to suppliers, customers, partners, and many other businesses. In addition to connecting, they need to exchange business data which often needs re-formatting or ‘translating’ before it can be accepted by other external systems. This is easier said than done. Businesses need an integration provider they can count on to bring together multiple component subsystems, ensuring they function reliably. Afterall, the impact of data not being sent/received can be catastrophic for business.
What are the critical integration capabilities your customers need from you?
We have mentioned that most businesses will need to look at the different systems they need to interact with. In addition to this, those systems may have several applications which also need to be considered. Your customers will be looking for a supplier who can integrate with a suite of different applications and therefore data endpoints.
We are starting to see the adoption of APIs within B2B business critical integrations. This means your customers and prospects will likely need or be looking for both mature B2B integration, known as EDI (Electronic Data Interchange), to exchange information as well as using API’s to connect to other businesses.
Let’s not forget that the demand for visibility across every aspect of a business has sky rocketed. Consequently, another capability required is data integration. By taking data sources and bringing them together, you provide a unified view which is very valuable to potential clients.
Where do you fit in?
“By 2023, over 50% of B2B transactions will be performed through real-time APIs versus traditional approaches.” (‘Use APIs to Modernise EDI for B2B Ecosystem Integration’, Gartner report, June 2019.)
Over the next few years, the B2B integration landscape will be going through a significant transformational period. APIs will be adopted by the forward thinking B2B businesses who want to remain or become the leaders in there vertical, this is where you come in. By ensuring you are set up to take these businesses on this inevitable journey, you can reap the rewards.
Furthermore, as integration becomes more and more prevalent in business, it will also become more prominent. “By 2023, at least 50% of organisations will have an integration strategy empowerment team to support self-service integration approaches.” (Gartner’s Integration Maturity Model).
If businesses are heading towards this direction, they will be looking for a partner, not supplier, who can assist with their integration strategy, to help implement and improve moving forwards. They will want to partner with experts in integration who will ensure they remain competitive in their space.
Find out more – learn how you can offer your customers deeper integration and lead them on this transformational journey. Connecting business data with a scalable approach to enable richer, faster, and real-time integration is key. Join this webinar to discuss the future of B2B integration and how API's are being used to modernise B2B integration architecture.