Workflows and the rise of true holistic integration
Every business runs on workflows. Whether you process mortgages, manufacture machinery, provide health care, or nearly anything, your business output is the result of one or more workflows. Workflows are divided into steps, with different functions leaning in when it's their turn. The common thread through all of this is the IT infrastructure that enables everyone to do their work quickly and accurately.
Because IT infrastructure is dynamic (everyone going remote, applications migrating to the cloud, plus the integral nature of something that is constantly improving) it can also be unpredictable. Because business processes and workflows depend on IT infrastructure, having a clear, real-time understanding of who has what where when is not only best practice, in many industries, it is mandated. This triggers two critical requirements.
Tracking the true nature of how IT is being used.
IT has historically tracked asset usage by categories (or silos). There is a hardware silo, often called a CMDB or configuration management database. There is another silo for software, another for cloud, another for accessories such as keyboards and mice, and another for IoT (Internet of Things) devices, which can be nearly anything. The true nature aspect is that no one uses software without hardware, no one goes into the cloud without hardware and software, etc. Except that IT does not track its infrastructure by how it’s actually used (which maps to business processes), it tracks it by what it is.
Why does this matter? Being able to connect the dots on the overall use of all elements that support workflows, and being able to tie that to a specific person and to the workflow with which they are associated is the core definition of holistic integration. Oomnitza is the first company to offer this capability, and it is a game-changer.
Tracking in-bound data sources to drive change in external systems.
The amount of data flowing into even a medium-sized business is massive, and all interdependent systems are continuously pushing information at each other. Something as routine as onboarding a new employee triggers workflows for HR, Finance, Procurement, Compliance, as well as IT. When there’s an audit (and they are becoming more frequent and granular) IT needs to hit the pause button and quickly and accurately answer the questions who, what, when, and where? And responding with “We don’t know” can easily result in a seven-figure fine. This level of responsiveness requires data flow to be bi-directional, tracking systems can query and update assets, and assets can send in updated information quickly and easily using APIs.
Why does this matter? Because exchanging information on asset disposition in real-time provides a huge competitive advantage for both visibility into the IT estate and staying compliant with increasingly complex and non-optional regulations. Oomnitza has recently expanded its offering to include this capability, and it is another in a series of game changing upgrades.
The core sequence for IT enablement has to be alignment with business processes and workflows (that is, aligning with how business makes money). Processes depend on IT infrastructure (all of it) and the people who manage business workflows. Having a single integrated view into the entirety of your IT infrastructure, tied to both your personnel and the data flows they manage is a highly critical capability that business is finally in a position to address directly.