Drowning in data: How Sapho turns the deluge of data into a useful stream

Today’s companies are drowning in data—from customer information and employee records to sales figures and web analytics. 

And those are just the tip of the iceberg.

Information overload is a reality of doing business in the age of Big Data. But while data offers potentially big payoffs, it only works if business leaders use it effectively—and more than two-thirds aren’t. They can’t even wrap their arms around it. In fact, nearly a third of executives say the deluge of data is just making things worse.

[See our infographic entitled "Streamline enterprise workflows with Sapho" to learn more about turing data into useful streams of information]

Most businesses use less than three-quarters of their available data. Why? Most of the time it’s because the information isn’t accessible. Process bottlenecks frustrate nearly two-thirds of business leaders, blocking quick and efficient access to large data sets. More than 40 percent say much of their information sits in silos, cordoned off from the rest of the organization.

Even when data is accessible, it can take more than a day—or sometimes even weeks—to access it for analysis, says 37 percent of business leaders. In the past three years, nearly three-quarters of companies have had a major decision or project derailed because they couldn’t get information to the right people in time.

“Enterprises are competing on an incomplete view of their data; they cannot adequately see or unify data across their silos,” says CIO magazine.

It’s a problem of integration. Digitally, most companies have cobbled together a mish-mash of legacy systems, internal data warehouses, enterprise software, and cloud services—many of which don’t communicate with each other. As a result, data becomes scattered throughout the organization, piling up in silos. Meanwhile, employees and business leaders remain cut off from the knowledge they need to make informed decisions.

Figuring out how to corral all that data, make sense of it, and deliver it to the employees who need it has become a top concern for CIOs. 

That’s where Sapho comes in. Our micro app platform helps enterprises develop custom micro apps that aggregate data from all of their systems, monitor and analyze it, and deliver it to the right people in a way they can use it. Here’s a look at how a Sapho-built micro app streamlines the flow of data within an organization.

Collecting from the cloud

The cloud has opened up exciting new horizons for businesses, reducing the need for large hardware investments and giving companies more flexibility and scalability than ever. 

From data storage to software-as-a-service (SaaS), the cloud is playing a rapidly expanding role in business operations. By 2018, more than 60 percent of companies will have at least half their infrastructure in the cloud. Last year, 42 percent increased their spending on cloud computing—half of which went toward SaaS. Today, nearly 3 in 10 enterprise applications are SaaS-based.

But while cloud adoption continues to rise, there are still some major obstacles holding it back. One of the biggest is integration. With each new SaaS application a company uses, more enterprise data gets segregated into cloud silos that aren’t able to communicate with the organization’s other systems (including their other SaaS apps). 

Nearly a third of business leaders say integration between SaaS and on-premises legacy applications has become a top concern, second only to data security. And more than half of executives say in some cases the integration problem has even propelled them to abandon SaaS for an on-premises solution.

But companies don’t have to take a step backward. Instead, a Sapho-built micro app can help them move forward toward increased integration between cloud and on-premises systems. Our apps break down cloud silos and retrieve the data stuck there so it can be analyzed, monitored, and used alongside with the rest of your data.

Opening up enterprise systems

The next place data often gets stuck is in a company’s enterprise software. These are the systems that power your enterprise—such as Oracle, SAP, and Microsoft. 

Unfortunately, the vast majority of companies aren’t fully using their enterprise software. Nine in 10 employees end up abandoning these systems for more user-friendly alternatives because they’re: 

  • Hard to use
  • Unreliable 
  • Too complex
  • Outdated
  • Slow

As a result, companies end up wasting as much as 37 percent of their enterprise software spending on products or features that don’t get used. (Nationwide, that amounts to $30 billion down the tubes.) They also end up wasting data, as the information housed in their enterprise software sits idle. 

With a Sapho micro app, however, companies can mobilize their enterprise data by aggregating and delivering it to employees in a way that’s much more user-friendly. 

Mining databases and data warehouses

The mountains of data a company generates each day are often stored within internal databases and data warehouses. Systems such as Oracle, Teradata, HPE, Amazon, and Apache end up becoming vast repositories of information business leaders can draw upon—in theory. 

But 60 percent of business leaders admit their legacy data storage systems aren’t up to snuff for today’s business requirements. Part of the problem is that most companies have multiple databases that are isolated from the rest of the organization. Each department may use its own separate system, causing a data disconnect between:

  • Customer Service
  • Marketing
  • Sales
  • Human Resources
  • IT
  • Administration
  • Accounting
  • Production

Departmental barriers can get in the way of organization-wide data access and ultimately inhibit a company’s growth—such as when HR staff is unable to access sales department data that could help them determine the necessary training programs to put in place to improve employee performance. Sapho’s technology removes these data blockades by collecting data from all in-house databases and data warehouses so departments no longer operate in silos.

Engaging employees

Collecting all of your data in one place is just the first step. It’s still just a mountain of raw data until it’s been sorted, analyzed, and placed in the hands of employees who can use it.

That gets tricky when you consider that each employee needs different data points from different systems to succeed. Sapho addresses the problem with:

  • Highly targeted data. The right data can help employees make better decisions, but there’s such a thing as too much. Nearly two-thirds of business leaders say information overload is a major problem for their workforce. That’s why it’s important to sift out the information each employee needs. Sapho delivers the right data to each employee in a customized stream of relevant information and actionable insights.
  • Consumer-oriented experience. One of the biggest problems with many enterprise apps is that they don’t function as smoothly as those designed for consumers. Roughly 44 percent of employees want their enterprise apps to perform more like consumer apps. Sapho provides a more consumer-oriented experience, with:
  • Notifications and reminders
  • Facebook-like news feed
  • Real time updates
  • One-click task completion
  • Flexibility. Today’s workforce is used to having options. They want to be able to work from wherever they are, using the device of their choosing. Eight in 10 full-time employees have mobile devices, and 40 percent use them for work every day—for example, viewing work-related content (82 percent) and using business-related apps (59 percent). Seven out of every 10 emails are opened on mobile devices. A Sapho-built micro app funnels information to employees using the channel that works best for them.

In the age of Big Data, enterprises need to be able to deliver the right data to the right person at the right time on the right device—and that’s exactly what Sapho does.

Take a look at our infographic entitled "Streamline enterprise workflows with Sapho" to visually see how Sapho brings together data from multiple systems and presents it to employees  in a useful stream.

Sapho_Workflow_Infographic_Final.png

 

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Natalie Lambert is the Vice President of Marketing at Sapho. She joins from Citrix where she held multiple product marketing leadership positions. Before that, Natalie was a principal analyst at Forrester Research where she was the leading expert on end user computing.

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