OpenText recently sponsored a survey on B2B integration maturity which was conducted by SCM World (now part of Gartner). We set out to learn what constitutes B2B integration maturity and what impact that might have on a business. The research paper, available here, lays out a path to maturity based on answers to the survey from 115 participants from all over the globe.
In previous posts we’ve looked at the steps, and the value of progressing along the path. The last portion of the report makes some specific recommendations for getting started and advancing along the B2B integration path. It’s time to get started now on the path to B2B integration maturity.
When advancing business-to-business integration, an organization’s focus must be on the journey as much as it is on the destination. The B2B integration path framework is designed with the journey in mind, helping organizations to define and measure progress for themselves.
A well-planned B2B integration deployment concurrently addresses issues such as working capital and process efficiency by aligning the three elements of people, technology and process to create tangible business value.
SCM World Recommendations
- Extend the network. The very nature of B2B integration requires working with extended business networks. Purely introspective perspectives lead to the continuation of the status quo, whereas broadened perspectives create mutually beneficial opportunities now, and in the future. It is important to:
- Build capabilities and track progress. Mechanisms are available to accelerate progress and build the key capabilities needed to create sustainable advancements in B2B integration. In evaluating how building these capabilities enables future business growth, consider if it is best to build and maintain in-house capabilities or if it is better to partner with, or outsource to, specialists who focus on B2B integration tools and technology?
- Start the process. To begin the journey, companies must develop segmented business integration strategies that allow for immediate execution, as well as further advancement potential in the future.
- Learn and grow together with trading partners.
- Leverage experts outside your business; and
- Embrace the dynamism and fluidity of B2B integration as a long-term growth opportunity.
Previous posts in this series:
- Don’t Be Immature – Impact Your Business With B2B Integration Maturity
- 5 Stages of B2B Integration Maturity – Pt 1
- Does B2B Integration Have Tangible Business Benefits? Pt 2
- The B2B Integration Maturity Landscape – Pt 3
- First Steps in B2B Maturity – Pt 4
- What’s Average B2B Integration Maturity? – Pt 5
- Getting Ahead on the B2B Integration Maturity Path – Pt 6