If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail – Many companies still address their EDI and B2B integration strategies with this approach. Even some early adopters of EDI and other B2B automation technologies still try to use those same, outdated, many times home-grown tools to address today’s complex B2B environment. If there was a single issue or challenge to overcome, this could prove quite valuable. But as I showed last time, companies are still relying on a mix of manual, error prone processes in addition to automation. So why is this?
The answer is…it’s not so simple. A significant number of global companies still struggle with things like integrating B2B processes with internal applications, and efficiently responding to partner requirements. One would think that after so many years of EDI and B2B experience, most companies would have this thing figured out. In fact, when IBM surveyed 650 Sr. IT Executives around the globe, we discovered that 7 significant challenges still exist:
Based on this research, and factoring in many conversations with IT professionals, it can be concluded that too few companies approach their EDI/B2B Integration from a strategic perspective. Those which do have been able to convert their B2B Integration not only into a source of cost savings, but also a key factor in improving strategic relationships and driving revenue growth. So why are more companies NOT making B2B a piece of their long-term IT strategies? Do these companies view EDI and B2B as something which was addressed in the 1980s & 90s? Or, do they not see the true value that it can deliver? Or, are IT organizations too fragmented geographically to address from a strategic level?
Is B2B part of your long-term IT Strategy?