Digital is destiny! Architecting your digital enterprise

Digital is destiny
Digital is destiny

Digital, Digital, Digital! Is it a buzz word or just another techno hype?

I don’t think so, due to the fact that it’s about business existence now. This was not the case before. The technology advancement is happening at great speed. With the evolution of smart devices, etc., the customer expectation around their experience is changing day to day making digital is destiny.

Let’s face it, we are heading towards the experience era. It’s happening every day and Omni experience is certainly the way forward.

Business goal

The main goal is to onboard the digital transformation and that it derives business value that’s based on experience offerings:

The question is: Where do you stand in terms of Business value from your offerings in the market?  

Do you think you are ready?  Let’s start by seeing what needs to take place to onboard.

Digital is destiny: foundation

I believe it’s the Leadership team that must focus on laying the groundwork. The bottom line is that everyone in the enterprise will have to contribute to be part of it.

Digital Enterprises have a strong origin if they are based on three key elements:

  1. Dynamic Culture
  2. Innovation
  3. Smart Collaboration

Digital pillars

Once the foundation is in place, you will need strong provisions to support digital initiatives.

READ MORE: Navigating the network to digital transformation.

  • Data: Recognize the power of data. In the coming years, there will be an immense amount of data that will be generated and enterprises have to make sure they drive value out of it, both for the enterprise and for customers. Innovation will happen on top of the data set that you have with the help of different technologies.
  • Technology: Technology progressions are happening at rapid speed and are bringing disruption in the industry. Either adopt it for creating business value or become a failure story for others to get motivated.
  • Experience Marketing: Connect with your customers by doing their behavior/preference analysis. Inspire them, reward them, empower them.

Build Omni Experience

With Foundation and Pillar in place, you are ready to innovate and introduce a new experience, services and products in the market.

Few examples of how businesses are moving:

Banking: Virtual banks/Open Banking, retail banking are becoming the new global world.

Insurance: Collaborate with the health industry, housing boards, driving assistance, health clubs, etc.

Logistics: Delivering third-party product, how about delivering local take away food to your doorstep? They are already doing door-to-door marketing flyers, brochures, catalogs.

Retail: Shopping stores with an auto cart with auto-checkout, auto-replenishment and doing targeted promotions with other vendor partnerships.

Shaping Digital Architecture (As-Is to To-Be)

Below depicts the typical traditional Enterprise Architecture with Legacy applications, file-based or web services-based integrations running on physical servers or partially on virtual machines (VM).

Map your portfolio of applications to the third-generation products and platform services.

The third generation is about Cloud, Mobility, Social network, IoT, Big data and analytics.

READ MORE: Setting up a hybrid cloud strategy.

So, the first thing is to map the architecture layer and see what your target would look like. This will give you inspiration where you need to be the next couple of years from your technology stack perspective.

Add a secure glue

To transform and adopt digital support, you will need a secure glue to talk to different components of the ecosystem and that glue comes from APIs. Secure way of communicating with internal and external components.

  • API is the secure glue that connects with multiple technologies and applications across the ecosystem.
  • Move towards API First
  • Wrap and enable your legacy with API

READ MORE: Learn the difference between API first design and API first.

It’s not only the secure glue, it more than that. It’s a platform for innovation. You can’t innovate if you don’t have an interface to explore the process or data. It’s the innovation channel for everything that you do in the enterprise (internal or external).

Sometimes APIs are like Lego blocks, even the producer doesn’t know the real beauty of it and is only known when an external developer builds an innovative product or service from it.

To-Be Architecture

You can’t move a big bang from what you have in the ecosystem. So as the first step of the To-Be state, the old and new world has to co-exist with the balance of having lights on (BAU) and in parallel doing innovative things in the small perimeter.

Introduce RED blocks to start with and gradually add green boxes. In some cases, based on the maturity level of the enterprise it will be essential to have RED and some parts of green blocks added in parallel. Like adding Micro Services and Digital Marketing applications but leave Big Data/Analytics to follow.

Platform view based on To-Be state

As you move towards more cloud-based business applications, you will see a need to have the glue in the cloud, as well along with central governance across different applications across the ecosystem. A need for the platform to address the Enterprise integration box in the above To-be state view.

Logical Platform and Governance should look something like below:

READ MORE: Discover the Axway AMPLIFY Platform.

Infrastructure view

Over the period your infrastructure will shape like this:

Key considerations for transformation

  • Consider having first-class security.
  • Legacy modernization should not end up in legacy.
  • Move away from monolith to modular applications.
  • Select the right technology for a specific use case.
  • Start small, learn fast and scale quickly.
  • Focus on DevOps to optimize cost and time to deliver.
  • Find the right approach to modernize.

I hope this helps you take up your Digital Transformation and shape your Organization into Digital one.

Learn more about why you need digital transformation for the future.

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