For successful interaction between sales and IT, a scalable foundation must be created on which sales activities can be built.
While each company’s situation is unique, our experience shows that the following seven principles, in particular, play a critical role in setting a company’s course for the future:
If possible, a standard should always be used first. In this way, initial experience can be gathered as quickly as possible in a proof-of-concept procedure. With this experience, it can be continuously evaluated whether the standard is sufficient or whether it is necessary to deviate from the standard.
2. data quality and harmonization
Data is the key to success. High data quality makes it possible to sell increasingly automated and personalized products and services using the data. In order for this data to be used in the long term, a clean foundation must be laid.
3. open APIs
All solutions should have an open structure so that both static and event-based data can be accessed via modern interfaces in order to derive possible analyses and actions from them.
4. independence of the department
IT specialists are in high demand on the market and correspondingly expensive – therefore, the business department should be able as far as possible to adapt the platforms used to its own needs and processes via configurations on a no-code basis. This ensures the necessary agility to react quickly to market changes.
5. modularity and expandability
The platforms used should be modular and expandable. Just because you initially start with the standard, you should not be forced by a vendor lock-in to have to use this standard forever. So it should be possible to use only parts of a platform in a modular way and to extend this platform also by e.g. own future developments.
The architecture should not be set up statically in perfection at the beginning, but should grow and adapt organically with the requirements and needs of the departments over the future years. This requires a high degree of flexibility. In analogy to building a house, the first step is to build a solid foundation on which further floors can be added.
Both the individual systems and the interaction between the systems must make it possible to quickly try out new business models without setting up lengthy and costly IT projects.
You can read more about the most important success factors on the way to modern system architecture here.