Interoperability is not the most well-known asset in business, but it’s critical for success today. By making your business more interoperable, you make everything more connected. With greater interoperability, you can provide increased transparency to stakeholders, better collaboration between employees, and consistent customer experiences.
The world may be more connected than ever before, but are your business operations as connected as they could be? That depends on how much interoperability exists between all your systems and devices.
Not familiar with the term interoperability? You rely on the concept more than you might realize. Take Amazon, for example. Whether you’re buying something on your tablet or your phone, you can pull up your customer history. You don’t have to go through extra steps or worry about missing information. Everything runs seamlessly across all your Amazon platforms and dashboards, enabling a friction-free buying experience.
The reason Amazon works so effortlessly is that the company’s programs are designed to be interoperable. This makes your journey as a shopper more satisfying and efficient. You don’t have to do anything special or extra to get a consistent level of service. There’s no heavy lifting needed.
It’s no surprise that interoperability has evolved in the last two decades with the development of tech products and solutions. The internet has made integrating and connecting software, services, systems, etc., much easier. Yet, many companies still aren’t as interoperable as they could be — — and yours might not be either.
The good news is that it isn’t hard to prioritize interoperability. First, though, you may need to gain a better understanding of the ways that interoperability can benefit your company and help advance your mission. Below are some of the biggest ways that interoperability can be a boon for your organization:
- You can offer internal and external stakeholders greater transparency.
From your employees to your vendors to your clients, every stakeholder you work with probably wants as much transparency as possible. In this situation, transparency can best be thought of as being able to find data and insights immediately without jumping through hoops.Though transparency is valuable in every industry, it’s especially needed in healthcare. So, if you’re looking for transparency inspiration, it’s worth listening to leaders like Jon Wasson, the senior product director at Episource, a leading provider of risk adjustment services, software, and solutions for health plans and medical groups. Wasson offers great advice on the role interoperability plays in healthcare. “When we are all connected, we all win,” Wasson writes. “Patients gain better transparency to manage their healthcare and increased flexibility to take their data with them if they switch plans or providers. Payers and providers gain more access to information and can share it quickly and efficiently.”No matter what sector you work in, you can improve your transparency and provide a single source of truth for your stakeholders. That way, they’ll feel more bonded to your organization, and no one will have to scramble to find what they need.
- You can increase collaboration between your employees.
Want to do something about all those waning employee engagement statistics? Interoperability naturally brings people together so they can collaborate quickly. When people can work with each other without any barriers, they’re more apt to produce good work. And producing good work can lead to higher satisfaction levels — and thereby minimize the chance of disengagement.
However, it’s hard to collaborate if you have stumbling blocks getting in the way of interoperability. According to Accenture, 27% of top-level leaders highlighted collaboration across departments and functions as a key problem their companies face due to low or no interoperability. In other words, you might have places in your organization that need to be cleaned up before your teams can experience true interoperability.A good way to find out where your biggest challenges are is with a survey of all your workers. Ask employees where they’re having trouble with communication and collaboration. Then, use the feedback you receive to determine where to focus your initial interoperability efforts. It’s worth mentioning that interoperability is especially essential if you have hybrid or remote teams. The harder it is for virtual workers to connect, the less work they’ll be able to produce and the less connected they’ll feel.
- You can offer an unparalleled customer experience.
Customers don’t have much patience these days. Case in point: Research from Digital.com suggests that 19% of consumers will bounce off a page that takes more than two or three seconds to load. This statistic alone reveals that you have very little wiggle room when it comes to pleasing your prospects and customers. So, if a better customer experience is what you’re after, interoperability will be a huge win.Not sure where your customers are getting frustrated by a fragmented journey? Look at where your sales pipeline is leakiest. From top to bottom, you can usually pinpoint areas of concern. Could it be that some of the leads or customers you’re losing are just irritated because they have to take too many user actions?
Take the time to go through all the steps your typical customer faces. From there, you can begin to find places where you can build up the communications between systems. A huge bonus to all your efforts will be the ability to deliver more personalized, speedy service; better support; and more memorable interactions.
Why risk losing traction just because your systems aren’t speaking? With interoperability, you can get (and give) the best of all worlds to all the people who matter to your business.