Over the last 20 years, the mid market has invested significantly in technology, however that has often resulted in a whole lot of different applications being used to solve individual problems.

It’s been said that the average mid market business will have between 300-500 disparate applications in place. But would each of those applications be able work with each other? Frequently, the answer is no. What you’re left with is a colourful but not necessarily nutritious, plate of ‘spaghetti’.

Metaphors aside, how can you untangle those diverse strands to form an intelligent, bottom-line building whole? The answer is integration. Systems need to be connected to realise the end-to-end value of their processes.

It doesn’t matter what the business is – education, local government, construction, energy, professional services – as organisations have become more efficient, they have looked to automation. Once those applications are integrated, this in turn drives quality of data, quality of transactions and consumer effectiveness. And that can be serving a constituent, a client or a B2B engagement.

Darren Covington explores the value of technology integration and the efficiencies that can be gained, insights from Data and Digital Transformation in the Mid Market, KPMG's survey of mid market business leaders.

The value of integration

It’s complex. Transactions run across multiple processes, taking into account many diverse systems, whether these be cloud-based, or on-premise bespoke systems that have been developed for specific purposes. What’s important is to connect all these systems together to ensure you’re gaining efficiency within your business model.

Take Eric, an engineer who works at a power station. He’s new to the job and doesn’t have the in-depth knowledge that Bill, recently retired, had accrued over 30 years. Eric gets a call at 2:00am saying that there’s a problem with a boiler secondary air heater. He immediately drives to the plant.

Bill knew the operating system inside out, but “it was all in his head”. However, Eric has something even more reliable and accessible: an Information Gateway. He powers up his computer and can instantly see the layout of the plant, location of the problematic boiler, with relevant data relating to past problems, outage reports and impacts on the plant, time to fix, safety profiles, work orders and operator logs. He is quickly able to evaluate the problem, how long it will take to fix and the cost of repairs. The Information Gateway accurately amalgamates data to provide up to date information of the plant’s history, so Eric can take swift, decisive and well-informed decisions.

The future of business

Automation is creating a significant groundswell into our ways of doing business, so where are we all heading? We’re already seeing automated supply chains and automated manufacturing lines in the marketplace, autonomy in transportation (think of driverless cars) and all of these components connect your systems together. These include management and operational systems, maintenance systems driving your inventory systems and ensuring your financial systems are sound. When these systems are connected, this helps ensure efficiency and consistency of operations.

Let’s look at a busy metropolitan hospital. The technology the healthcare sector deploys includes the storing and processing of patient information, and the need to protect patient records. There will be data on treatment methodologies and claims sent to insurance companies. Applications will also ensure governance and compliance requirements are met, plus there will also be administrative data such as HR, payroll and accounting. Integration of these diverse processes is needed to provide not only the best health outcomes for patients, but to provide data for efficient future business decisions. Patient information, including age and traffic through specific departments, will show where investment is required or where funds may need to be diverted.

Driving value from your data

The necessity for integration has been a priority for many top tier organisations, which have invested heavily in costly digital transformation programs over the last few years. Up till now, the mid market has had less access to technology, resources and ultimately the know-how to implement their environments. But that is changing and the sector is rapidly catching up.

What the mid market needs is a Managed Service to assist them to implement integration and realise the value of their existing investments, making their ‘smarts’ work harder and driving automated processes.

KPMG’s Enterprise practice offers an integrated consulting, implementation and Managed Services business to help your organisation achieve its goals. This reduces access barriers, enables integration of data and applications, opening all of firm offerings and third party products and services into the market place. We can also assist in the delivery of reusable assets, such as fit-for- purpose dashboards, connectors and APIs. Additionally, we offer design and architecture consulting and technology advisory services. These services have all been especially configurated for mid market clients, taking into account their individual requirements, goals, aspirations and timeframes.

Once organisations have integrated their applications, systems and data, they will be able to utilise all this to derive true business insights. So, in our next blog, we’ll explain how to maximise these insights to reach informed business decisions.

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What’s Driving Mid Market Transformation?

Find out in the Data and Digital Transformation in the Mid Market Report 2021

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