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Innovating in a legacy landscape

Innovating in a legacy landscape

All Industry sectors are facing an unprecedented period of transformation with more anticipated. Back-office transformation and customer service management in the cloud are desirable. However, implementing large scale transformations can be challenging because of the impact on the organisation (financially, cultural, legacy) leading to bandaids to hold everything together. How can organisations transform and innovate in a landscape like this? KPMG’s Powered Enterprise | Integration approach can help organisations to digitise functions with minimum disruption.

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All industry sectors are facing the urgent need to evolve, yet many organisations are sitting on legacy technology that is holding them back from being agile and adaptable enough to meet new demands.

To remain competitive, leaders are looking to undertake technology transformations in all areas of their businesses – from back-office functions such as finance, HR and supply chain, to front end customer service systems.

Many want to move into the cloud, and harness the new technology capabilities it offers – such as robotic process automation or data and analytics tools – in order to make a cultural shift to leverage the potential of data can bring in terms of building fast-paced and forward-looking decisions.

However, their plans can stall due to concerns about the potential impact of a transformation on the organisation, its customers and partners.

The challenge organisations face is – how can they bring the most innovative capabilities into an environment filled with legacy systems, in a fast and cost-effective way, while keeping business-as-usual (BAU) running?

Too many short-term fixes

Fear of disrupting BAU has led to the common approach of ‘stitching’ new software onto old software or customising elements as a short-term fix.

As a result, many organisations miss the opportunity to maximise their ROI by not looking to the benefits of automating business processes end to end. Leading to a number of solutions such as point-to-point integrations, or even leveraging legacy middleware, which continue to slow down the transformation process within the enterprise. Moreover, many organisations lack documentation of these integrations while others have written ‘business rules’ into interfaces, but have lost the knowledge of what was done and how to change it.

This ‘patched together’ environment can be hard to navigate and costly to run, due to the extra support needed from software providers to keep non-standard systems afloat. Moreover, limits the organisation ability to scale and reduce project costs over time.

For organisations that have embraced new technologies in certain departments, they can find that a lack of integration with other departments is constraining the potential benefits and user experience. For example, it can be hard to capture or share data across the organisation, make decisions, and launch new initiatives when the information is held in a silo.

This is why a key part of a successful digital transformation is a solid and robust end to end Data Strategy.

KPMG’s Powered Integration Methodology

To harness new technology capabilities quickly, to enable data to be unlocked, and to transform without interruption, KPMG has developed the KPMG Powered Enterprise | Integration methodology.

Powered Enterprise | Integration is a data-led transformation framework, designed to help transform business units and allow data to become more accessible across the organisation.

We take a holistic view of an organisation’s current state of technology and drawing on best practice frameworks for their industry, build a plan to arrive at the best possible future-state solution.

Our approach draws on our deep understanding of the business practices and processes pertaining to key industries, the appropriate technology solutions for those industries, and the unique deployment approach most suited to that type of business.

This industry and technology awareness means we can “power” an organisation, so they can gain results faster.

APIs a key ingredient

The use of Application Programme Interfaces (APIs) is key to our approach. APIs enable continuous transformation. Meaning, different business units will evolve at different speeds, so transformation across the business and IT landscape will increasingly happen in parallel, meaning that there must be a way to insulate the stable components while change occurs elsewhere.

As we explored in Unlocking a connected enterprise with an API strategy, an API acts as an app’s gateway to join with other apps. APIs can help to unwind the complex stitching between legacy systems, and facilitate a seamless flow of information.

Our approach is to tailor a unique API strategy to the needs of each organisation, and then create reusable APIs for that business which help to open channels across departments.

Unlocking data for a leading retailer

For a convenience retailer, our team used our Powered Integration framework, incorporating a tailored API strategy, to help the organisation unlock data.

They had a number of disconnected technology applications managed both internally and externally, which had led to significant point-to-point integration, with limited consistency and oversight.

It needed an API strategy to connect the systems and to help unlock its valuable data. Without this connectivity, it couldn’t support new customer-focused innovations.

Our methodology helped the retailer to embrace new technology capabilities quickly, connect its systems, unlock data out of legacy systems, and share that data across departments to help drive new initiatives.

Broader benefits

With our Powered Integration framework, organisations can be more connected and data-driven, without incurring major upfront transformation costs and disruption to daily business.

Other key benefits include a streamlined path to cloud adoption, access to new capabilities such as robotic process automation, and in turn, easier innovation of new products and services.

Employees, customers and business partners should also all benefit from this more integrated, transparent and future-fit approach.

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