No organisation can afford to ignore the digital revolution – but where to start? From technical complexity to operational disruption, how does any business overcome the fear and embrace the collaborative power of a customer experience network (CXN)?
Understanding the new development model
According to IDC, 90% of organisations are actively involved in some form of digital transformation programme. But the challenges associated with the creation and delivery of increasingly complex digitally enabled business models can be daunting.
How can any organisation successfully pull information from multiple back-end and front-end systems, applications in the cloud and on premise, as well as multiple devices, including voice commands to create a seamless, secure and real-time process?
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APIs are the building blocks of digital business models. But with a raft of legacy technologies that also need to be incorporated into a process that will cover multiple stakeholders within a customer ecosystem – the customer experience network (CXN) – the digital transformation process is potentially complex, expensive and time consuming.
There are a number of essential components that support a faster, lower cost and lower risk approach to embracing digital transformation and ecosystem collaboration in the aim of becoming a digital enterprise:
1. Open source
An open source API model is key to speeding up the development process and providing a collaborative platform that drives incremental value throughout the ecosystem. With an open approach, developers can quickly utilise a raft of standard APIs within an existing framework to work with partners to realise new business opportunities.
Connecting multiple systems to deliver a new customer experience without fully understanding how it is performing is risky. Real-time embedded analytics provide both technical and business insight, from managing and troubleshooting the performance of dynamic APIs to tracking adoption and customer consumption of the new product or service.
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3. Security and authentication
Good security is not only essential in a digital world; it is also an enabler and the key to building customer trust. Security needs to be both embedded and seamless. The right models for user authentication and authorisation, whether a user is within the organisation, a known B2B partner or anonymous customer, are essential to ensure the ecosystem of services is trusted.
4. Sustainable development
If the ecosystem is to collaborate effectively – an ecosystem that will be changing over time – ease of use is key. This means hiding the complexity of existing information systems, considering the API User Experience and putting in place good API version control. Essentially the API layer must be simple to understand, easy to read and easy to discover if the inherent value of the underlying systems is to be harnessed by the CXN to deliver incremental value.
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5. Cultural change
According to IDC, when asked about the biggest challenges associated with achieving CXN, 43% cited encouraging participation and sharing of data and co-innovation and 40% managing shared business outcomes and shared value.
Consultation with the ecosystem is, therefore, an essential component of this process to ensure a complete understanding of the new service model.
Sourced by Richard Farnworth, UK country manager, Axway
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