Digital transformation survival guide: Unlocking business value with an open platform. Part 1: Embrace the challenges.
Who should read this guide?
Chief Digital & Innovation Officers
Heads of Product & eCommerce
Partner & Alliances Leaders
Customer Experience Leaders
- API Product Managers
Banking • Healthcare
Insurance • Manufacturing
Transportation & Logistics
Retail • Pharma
In 2020, businesses that hadn’t yet undergone a digital transformation were caught off guard. COVID-19 changed the world and exposed weaknesses. But it also revealed resilience and helped organizations focus on building the connections that really matter.
In 2021, those that understand the importance of reorienting the business with an open platform will be well positioned for future digital success.
Welcome to the Digital Transformation Survival Guide
If you’re like a lot of business decision-makers, 2020 was a crash course in digital transformation. Given only about eight weeks to do what typically takes five years, no one got everything right. The key now is to take a deep breath and make sure you’re building the right strategy and prioritizing the right products, projects, and programs for 2021 and beyond.
If you’re looking for answers about how to eliminate data silos and move your digital projects forward, you’ve come to the right place. This guide explains how an open platform provides the strategy and capabilities you will need to face new (and urgent) business challenges, to grow, and to evolve your organization and your operations so you’re stronger than ever before.
It’s divided into four parts, each designed to guide you further along the path to long-term digital success.
Part 1: Embrace the challenges
Reconfiguring your business for the future isn’t a small thing. Learn about the challenges you’ll face and how an open platform can help you address them.
Part 2: Appraise yourself honestly
Knowing where you’re starting from is the only way you can move forward. Assess your organization’s level of digital maturity and get guidance on what to do next.
Learn how an open platform can help you reach new customers, experiment with new business models, and create new products and services faster at lower cost.
Prepare to take the next steps with an open platform to unlock existing digital assets and create new business value.
Embrace the challenges
Complacency in moving to a digital infrastructure was once a luxury. Now it can kill a business.
In 2020, businesses around the world had to go digital overnight. Our habits as consumers, customers, and employees have changed profoundly, and a lot of these changes are here to stay. We have become more comfortable with organizing our activities online and on mobile first. For example, in the U.K, e-commerce now accounts for a third of all sales – it used to be one fifth. Globally, online food ordering now accounts for 45 percent of all restaurant revenue, even where you can choose to dine in.
This digital transformation required breaking down business processes into components that can be composed together into new value chains. Application programming interfaces (APIs) are the connectors that enable these digital components to be integrated and orchestrated in new ways as needed. They are business enablers that allow datasets and functionalities to be exposed. This allows external partners to add your data, services, and products directly into their channels and workflows.
Open platforms help businesses tap into the value in their digital systems to create brilliant customer experiences and accelerate innovation across business units and geographies.
Look inward first
Digital transformation starts at home. It’s not just about moving existing operations online and onto mobile. It’s about reconfiguring your business for the future so you can build new digital products and services, with potentially new business models and revenue streams, reaching new markets and customers.
14% of annual revenue is the amount companies across industries invested in digital initiatives before COVID-19 (McKinsey & Company)
97% of enterprise decision-makers believe the pandemic sped up their company’s digital transformation (Twilio)
79% of companies have increased their budget for digital transformation (Twilio)
Customers have redefined “digital”
“Digital” used to mean being available to your customers anywhere, at any time. Now it means giving them the ability to unlock the value you offer in the formats and places they choose.
They don’t just want mobile access to a banking app. They want access to their bank account from within their investment trading app.
Customers don’t want to call customer service. They want to use your online chat service from within their favorite e-commerce website.
Customers don’t want to visit a website to buy insurance for their new kitchen appliances. They want to choose an insurance product and mix and match signature kitchen features from your partner supplier network — all from within your showroom website.
Embedded finance, embedded e-commerce, embedded insurance, embedded health: it’s all made possible because businesses are exposing functionalities as APIs.
Digital enables co-creation
It’s true that composable products and services make things more complex. But they also generate more opportunities. Customers don’t need to look elsewhere because your base product isn’t the right fit for them. They can compose exactly what they want from the API components you make available. Digital enables a new level of co-creation.
Even your internal workforce can mix and match. Using APIs as components that integrate various business capabilities, datasets, and customer views can help employees build the experiences that make them more efficient and productive.
Re-use of digital assets and capabilities empowered multinational Erste Group to invent “George,” the digital financial companion for almost 6 million people in Europe
Integrate and orchestrate
Often, our business intuition tells us to simplify and streamline in order to manage complexity. That’s not always possible when IT infrastructure needs to serve multiple business units across multiple geographies.
Being flexible and future-proofing business operations is not about choosing one supplier with one platform to solve all your needs.
25% of enterprises find it challenging to gain operational visibility, with systems and processes not able to communicate with each other.
21% of enterprises feel that their legacy systems are slowing down business growth
22% of enterprises align their IT infrastructure teams with business strategy to enable future growth
An open platform is not technology for technology’s sake
Today’s digital enterprises need to assemble components and tools and make them work together. Lines of business often have the customer relationships and understand the product features that need to be built to support the next wave of innovation. Technology needs to enable lines of business to reach their goals: happier customers, growing revenue, and reduced operational costs.
But together, lines of business in an enterprise or larger organization also need to work across their silos and share their digital services to avoid duplication of effort.
An open platform approach enables you to build flexibility and future proof your operations: it’s about being able to integrate and orchestrate your ever-expanding digital toolbox and understanding how to leverage your technology to create new business value.
An open platform brings your technical teams closer to your business strategists. Technology is used to achieve broader business goals. Business no longer needs to conform to common technology choices. Instead, technology is flexible enough to suit each business need while still working in unison.
Securely create and manage integrations, and turn your innovative ideas into reality.
Sharing data for faster innovation Case study: ENGIE Becoming a data-informed organization means introducing common technology in a way that doesn’t slow down line-of-business innovation.
At ENGIE, 26 business units had separate contracts with the same data provider. Using Amplify, Axway’s API Management platform, ENGIE created an orchestrated infrastructure that allowed each line of business to work autonomously and choose their own tech stack for their operations.
By sharing data, individual business units reduced duplicate data purchases by up to 60%, which resulted in 3x fewer requests to external data providers.
The move to a more composable, ecosystem-focused approach and the ability to share data was a key factor in winning a 50-year contract with a major U.S. state university.
“We’ve recently signed a 50-year contract… which depends in a large part on the ability to share data -- a great example of how innovative services have been made possible by our API-First strategy” Renaud Ribal, Operational Director
Digital transformation is not simply moving existing operations online and onto mobile. It is reconfiguring your business for the future so you can build new products and services, with potentially new business models and revenue streams, reaching new markets and customers.
Part 1 Recap
Digital transformation is no longer optional. Embrace the challenges.
There’s no time to wait (or waste).
Being digital means putting customers in the driver’s seat.
Composability is the way to conquer complexity. APIs are the key.
To meet changing customer preferences, empower lines of business to innovate.
Ready for the next step?
Read Appraise yourself honestly, Part 2 of the Digital transformation survival guide: Unlocking business value with an open platform