Digitization of business is a two-pronged strategy of enhancing the customer’s digital experience across touch points and achieving Digital Operation Excellence. It involves the use of any technology that connects people and machine with each other, gathers contextual data and uses this information to enhance customer experience or improve business process across any channel, anywhere and anytime.
One critical aspect of digitization is to have a ‘Digital Architecture Platform’, encompassing underlying IT applications. Architecture principles of digital platform are:
- Modular: A highly modular approach to ensure flexibility like Service Oriented Architecture (SOA), internal services such as micro-services, web services, external services like APIs, orchestration processes, platforms, computing resources such as virtual machines, IaaS in the Cloud.
- Configuration: There is preference given to configuration rather than new development. For instance, business rule engines, process engines etc.
- Multi-Channel Support: It supports a wide variety of digital channels, for example – mobile, social, web, sensors.
- Provisioning and Consuming: It should both be capable of consuming services, as well as providing services. For example, using SaaS application for a particular business process or providing services which can be consumed by partner or customer.
- Multi Data Formats: It provides for a variety of data storage regimes which can be structured or unstructured data.
- Security, Scalability and Fault Tolerance: The digital platform ensures security, scalability and fault tolerance.
The diagram below depicts reference digital platform architecture for a digital enterprise:
Infrastructure: It provides secure computing and storage instances on demand.
Services: It supports the implementation of the business application task services. For example – business rule engines. It, also, provides platform for retrieval and analysis of potentially large data sets.
Composition: It composes the services from the service layer to form higher level business functionality. It can, also, compose, together, analytic result to provide information insight.
API Gateways: It provides the APIs to the outside world so that external communication can occur with partners or customers.
Digital Channels: Digital platform features help to, rapidly, develop and deploy for variety of channels – mobile, web, sensors etc.
Digital Platform is the technical basis on which all the digital initiative of enterprise will be built upon. It is because of this reason that it is critical to get this foundation and strategy right, otherwise the whole edifice will tend to crumble down.
Do you have a digital transformation strategy for your organization? What are your thoughts about it?
Practice Head – Business Consulting, RapidValue