Cloud integration holds many promises, including better product and service offerings, reduced total cost of ownership, simplified IT management, and architectures that keep businesses running at the pace of innovation. For banks and financial institutions, providing cloud connectivity can also open up more opportunities for business partnerships and bring you closer to your customer.
However, these integrations don’t just happen.
While business leaders and technical experts have a deep understanding and working knowledge of their in-house solutions, business integration in the cloud requires a modern approach. As customer ecosystems grow, traditional approaches to integration result in overly complex and burdensome data and application networks. If you want to accelerate business connectivity in the cloud, it’s important to first gain a firm understanding of what’s expected by your customers, and what’s required on your side. From there, you can settle on a solution that provides rapid integration while keeping your architecture agile and adaptable.
The struggle to meet customer demands for agility
In my experience, as banks become closer to their clients and partners, they’re looking for easier and faster ways to connect. One of the most significant challenges to integration is the diverse nature of information systems. Constant data movement, system updates, changing access controls and evolving endpoints all play a part, too. The challenge of cloud connectivity through all these changes lies in orchestrating data flows without limiting functionality, stifling progress or exposing security vulnerabilities.
The legacy approach to business interconnectivity was to work directly with each customer, agreeing on data flows, and building shared business processes. However, the more business ecosystems grow, the less feasible and practical it becomes to provide that level of individualized support.
Fortunately, modern businesses have largely adopted solutions that come with some level of cloud connectivity. SaaS applications like SugarCRM, NetSuite, Workday, etc. accelerate cloud readiness, even for smaller businesses that don’t have large IT staffs or budgets. However, I’ve found that even these solutions can require complex integrations that slow the process.
Give your customers more options with connectors
One of the principle benefits of cloud is the ability to both offer and connect to new services. For smaller customers, cloud connectivity with larger business partners can lift many barriers to entry, allowing them to emerge into new markets and accelerate feature delivery. For larger enterprises, cloud integration delivers cost-effective new revenue streams without taking on lengthy development projects.
Banks that offer services such as a payment gateway and ERP connectors in the cloud make it easier to bring new customers on board. As I stated above, the challenge lies in standardized business orchestration. The solution is secure data orchestration through an integration framework that offers out-of-the-box connectivity, especially to common SaaS applications.
Offering easy connectivity to the environment that your prospective SMB partners are already using removes a sizeable barrier to partnership. For companies that are moving to the cloud, your flexibility gives them more options. They can modernize in a way that makes sense, both technologically and financially, and you’re already in their chosen cloud and ready to connect your systems to theirs when it comes time for them to onboard.
Accelerating business interconnectivity in any cloud
Whether you’re an established financial industry business with ERP on premises, or you’re a new business that has adopted ERP cloud services, connectors help you establish business partnerships faster. Furthermore, an integration framework that comes with out-of-the-box cloud connectors can help you connect to a diverse, global customer base without the need for lengthy development projects on either end.
The heightened cloud agility you gain with the right framework opens your business to more options – both in the services you create and the partnerships you forge. And right now is the time to expand your options in the cloud. Cloud services providers across the board are offering migration deals and bundles, and over time, the costs for those features may increase. And established banks and financial institutions could lose market share to born-in-the-cloud competitors if they wait to modernize. Today’s customers expect value-add services and conveniences with the click of a button. The shifting expectations of customers challenge loyalty, and if your competitor is easier to work with, your customers will move.
Choosing the right hybrid integration platform
When evaluating integration platforms, look for one that provides flexibility, with connectivity to both legacy and cloud-native services. Be sure the platform itself is cloud-ready and offers out-of-the-box connectors to applications so your business partners can forego long development cycles at the time of integration. Also, look for integration platforms that offer low-code/no-code connectors and built-in support for APIs, API management, containerization, and microservices. With these features in place, you and your partners will be able to reuse components across varying architectures with minimal code development.
Additionally, pay close attention to how your integration platform moves data. Migrating toward a centralized, cloud-native data model will help you accelerate portability while simplifying your overall environment. This increase in flexibility lets you support businesses in whatever phase of cloud modernization they’re currently in—even those that still have data residing in legacy applications. You’ll provide an agile foundation that moves data bilaterally today while offering a wide array of modernization options as you move forward.
And lastly, I encourage you to rethink your assumptions around standardization. While the legacy idea of standardization had everyone working from the same starting point with regards to data formats and communication protocols, today’s concept of standardization is different. In cloud connectivity terms, standardization means automation and repeatability through clearly defined and easily accessible interfaces. By moving to an integration platform that provides ready-made connectors and workflow automation, you can accelerate everything from onboarding, to processing, to reporting, metrics, and compliance certification.
Get moving on an agile foundation from SEEBURGER
With over 30 years of experience, SEEBURGER has helped more than 10,000 customers achieve new levels of business agility and integration. Our microservices/API-based, cloud-first platform provides out-of-the-box connectivity and workflow automation features that let you modernize your legacy applications with minimal rework while setting your business up to become cloud-native. And with SEEBURGER’s low-code/no-code integration, you’ll reduce your development time and cost so you can spend more time forging partnerships in the cloud.
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Written by: Jay WatsonJay Watson is a lifelong technophile and has been at the forefront of technologies as they emerge to help create solutions to address real-world business needs. In the mid-nineties, he was a founding employee of an internet-based B2B startup and helped develop web-based eCommerce solutions. Working with many Fortune 500 businesses in various vertical markets such as Retail/Supply Chain, Pharmaceutical, Financial Services and Public Sector, he has provided solutions to help these organizations streamline and improve their communications and data integration processes. When not in front of the glow of a monitor, he enjoys fishing and hiking with friends and family.