How many employees do you have who spend every day copying and pasting data between systems and applications such as Microsoft Excel spreadsheets, IBM 3270 green-screen terminal applications, email, external web portals, and any other application? I ask this question when I meet business and IT leaders in large companies around the world.
Surprisingly often, I hear responses like “hundreds,” or “20% of our staff.” I even had a business executive tell me “100 of my 300 employees spend their day doing repetitive manual tasks like copying and pasting information.” That is 33% of their workforce.
I ask myself, “Why is this still happening?” The reality is, we have found no easy way to integrate all the different systems and tools that businesses use today.
Not only is manual processing very expensive, but it is also slow and error-prone.
Are there any solutions available to help with this? There are solutions available, but they can be difficult to implement and in some situations may not fully solve the problem.
For example, a large software vendor offers a product that is designed to solve the integration with IBM 3270 and 5250 terminal based application, but it requires highly skilled consultants to set it up. One financial institution recently shared how they hired outside consultants to integrate their legacy 3270-based system. After 3 months, they were still unsuccessful.
In another example, I recently visited a large international investment management firm. They create thousands of Excel reports for their thousands of clients worldwide every day. At the visit I asked, “So how do you automate the creation of all these reports?” The person from the company pointed out the window at a separate building and said, “Over there we have a huge IT department who custom writes and maintains Microsoft Visual Basic scripts that can create the Excel reports automatically.” Not only are these Visual Basic programmers expensive, but using Visual Basic scripts for editing spreadsheets takes time to create and maintain.
The automated no coding solution
There’s a better approach to these costly development projects. It can be done with a no coding solution that automates all the interactions with acquiring, transforming, and delivering data from many sources to Excel giving business users instant access to information and ability to focus on activities that are more productive.
I call this rethinking legacy integration and automation. Or should I say, revolutionizing legacy integration?
Here’s how to integrate legacy systems with automation
- Create the solution the same way you do it manually using a WYSIWYG paradigm directly against the user-interface of the involved applications
- Base solution on a standard work-flow editing paradigm well known to business
- Coding is not required during the entire process
The benefits are many, including:
- No need to translate business problems to IT language (which often fails)
- Develop it very close to (or within) a line of business for greater agility
- Deliver the solution in as little as 1-2 hours
- Solve those aggravating integration problems with fewer resources
- Eliminate costly manual transcription errors and delays in the process
Ready to rethink data integration? See how Spar Nord integrated an external third party portal with their lending application process allowing them to reduce the loan offer process from 14 days to 14 minutes.