The age of Digital Transformation is upon us. Businesses, in order to stay competitive if not merely in business, must transform. Karl-Heinz Streibich, in his book entitled “The Digital Enterprise”, states that “every business must become a digital business, regardless which industry it operates in.”
So what is a digital business? It’s about combining the digital and the physical world. Combining data, wherever it may be coming from, with the digital processes of the company. It’s about changing the way you interact with customers and partners. It’s about disrupting existing business models. And it’s about speed, scale, responsiveness, and agility. The digital business is constantly changing; this is the agility aspect. We have to move with that change and quickly – this is the speed aspect.
So what do APIs have to do with all of this? Well, Gartner states that digital business will disrupt all industries and will drive radical changes in the applications that companies run to operate, stay relevant and prosper. And that APIs are at the core of enabling application transformation for digital business, providing access to functionality and data from existing applications to the new digital business applications.
I read a press release in which Ovum stated “API management will emerge as a key enabler to digital transformation. 2014 will see enterprises across different vertical industries participating in the growing API economy, including as API providers focused on driving innovation via partner and third-party developer ecosystems. API management will provide the required security, governance, and performance management framework to ensure that enterprise API initiatives stay on track and deliver competitive advantage to enterprises embarking on digital transformation initiatives.” True enough. And they key here is API Management. Yes, APIs will help you transform your business into a digital business, changing the way you interact with customers and partners and providing speed and agility. But how? For that you need to create the APIs. And you need to provide security and mediation around them. Assign policies to them. Version and update your APIs. And, for public, or open APIs, publish them, provide documentation for them, allow developers to test out your APIs, and provide a collaborative environment for which developers and business partners can provide feedback, useful tips and practical uses for the APIs, etc. For more information on Software AG’s API Management platform, please visit our web site, here.
Coming back to the application transformation, at issue is the fact that for many companies, existing business applications are not able to support the requirements of the digital business. When they were created, there was no requirement for a digital business. The architecture was defined, the data model was defined, and the processes were defined. But for today’s digital business, you need adaptive applications that are built on platforms such as Software AG’s Digital Business Platform, which includes API Management and hybrid integration capabilities. This platform gives you the ability to develop these agile innovative and differentiating applications. You can find out more about it here. Happy transformation!