Embracing digital without compromise
Digital transformation projects are primarily focused on improving the customer experience and delivering innovative new products, services and experiences. But how can organisations embrace innovation, even disruptive technologies, without compromising the existing technology model?
Here, Richard Farnworth, UK country manager at Axway, explained the way in which new and legacy can operate effectively together.
With customer experience the priority for most organisations, growing numbers are now exploring Customer Experience Networks (CXN) that combine an ecosystem of stakeholders to deliver new customer experiences. But these new digital business models can be daunting. They are dynamic, encompassing many different business interactions, from buying services to paying bills and collaborating with partners to build products or source parts, participate in clinical trials or interact with government departments.
And while the customer interaction will increasingly occur via slick apps, using APIs to connect with new digital services, what about the core enterprise applications that provide the data critical to this new business process? If a business is relying on traditional File Transfer to move large volumes of legacy data, is it really possible to become part of the CXN without major and expensive redevelopment?
The ability to include these legacy services within new customer engagement models is critical – and it must be in done in an easy and cohesive manner that enables the business to adapt and deliver new use cases over time. And that means using a single platform that provides the ability to connect File Transfer into core platform applications and leverage an API layer on top.
With this approach, the benefits of the API model, including embedded analytics to provide a unified view of the customer experience, also extend to the legacy solutions. It also opens the legacy infrastructure to the speed of iteration required within the collaborative CXN model: using Accelerators to quickly add new business partners and interactions. Essentially, the legacy applications should be no barrier to modernisation or exposing the business to new digital experiences.
Indeed, the whole CXN development concept is about evolution – organisations can build on and leverage existing API investment within a broader CXN model. With the right API lifecycle model there should be no barrier to integrating new applications and data sources, whether from existing infrastructure on premise or in the cloud, or new IoT devices.
With this breadth of data readily and securely available, organisations can quickly embrace collaboration throughout the CXN and explore that data to create new products or services or drive new customer centric response. With access to this depth of data across the ecosystem, new business models will increasingly explore new technologies including Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality to create ever more innovative and responsive customer experiences.
And this is key: the entire CXN model is about the customer, it is about putting the customer at the heart of the experience and personalising moments within the customer journey. The opportunities for improving every touch point of the customer experience throughout the ecosystem are incredibly powerful.
In this dynamic environment, where speed of innovation is essential, organisations must be able to combine the latest innovation with the legacy enterprise workhorse systems that underpin operations. There should be no barriers to realising the vision of a customer centric business model.
The author of this blog is Richard Farnworth, UK country manager at Axway
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