The Key to the Intelligent Enterprise

Best practices, stories, and tactics on how to digitally reinvent your enterprise through the use of an abstraction layer of digitized business functions




Every large enterprise is looking for ways to master the coordination of people, processes and technology to evolve to an intelligent enterprise. The technology part of the formula has always been very problematic especially for large enterprises with siloed systems and layers of integration spaghetti.

Building and managing a modern abstraction layer of digitized business functions could well be the solution to this challenge. This blog is targeted for people looking for some fresh thinking in this area.

So lets get started with the basics…

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Abstraction Layer 101


Abstraction Layer 101 explains the concept of an abstraction layer and why it is key to reinvention into an intelligent enterprise. You can also learn how to build and manage one, as well as who in your enterprise should be using it. Expand the questions below to find out more.

What do you mean by an abstracted layer? What makes it different?

An abstraction layer is an organized and modularized view of all the information and services of an enterprise grouped with the business capabilities, which enables everyone to understand and use components to deliver new digital initiatives. Business and technology teams can work seamlessly together to deliver the overall goals of the business with competitive advantage.

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Why do I need it to become an intelligent enterprise?

The intelligent enterprise is one with a clear vision which can be effectively executed by the seamless interaction of people, process and technology. A blended abstraction layer is the key to aligning business and technology teams and ensures focus stays on the real aims of the business.

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How do I build it? How long, what's involved, can I reuse existing assets?

Most organizations already have many existing components. So to build this abstraction layer, existing components just need to be brought together in a single place, abstracted away from any specific technologies or coding formats, and properly organized.

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Once I have it, how do I manage it? And who uses it?

With an abstraction layer in place and a platform such as ignite from digitalML, cross-functional teams can work collaboratively to rapidly build new digital products and design and implement cloud-based applications to update legacy ones. There are also several roles who are involved in maintaining the abstraction layer. ignite has been developed to support them with this too.

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Digitized Business Functions 101


Digitized Business Functions 101 dives deeper into how an abstraction layer uses modularized business functions and services to rapidly deliver new digital products. Learn how to leverage existing frameworks to help build and implement, why the abstraction layer method is no longer just an academic exercise and understand how exceptional enterprises are utilizing this method to gain competitive advantage.

What do you mean by digitized business functions? Why are they important?

Digitized Business Functions are connected modules or building blocks of both your business capabilities and the technology functions needed to support them. Grouping them is a vital enabler to the intelligent enterprise as everyone has a single source of truth and a common reference point when executing overall business vision.

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Can you show me what that looks like?

With everything in one place, abstracted from specific technologies, it is possible to see your technical landscape in a whole new way. It should make sense to everyone in the enterprise and give insights that were not possible before. Multiple views of the wealth of information in an abstraction layer of digitized business functions enables you to understand exactly how your digital initiatives are (or aren’t) being delivered by your services.

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Are there existing frameworks I can reference to get there?

To enable reinvention into an intelligent enterprise, it’s vital to abstract your existing services away from any technology and coding standard and to categorize and classify them. A platform like ignite comes with a foundation pack, which includes Business capability models, domain-based information models, Business glossaries, and a pre-built set of abstracted business capability building blocks, along with an extensive toolbox, to make this as simple and quick as possible.

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Is this an academic exercise or is it connected to my IT landscape?

An abstraction  layer is no longer purely an academic exercise; it is the best approach to build and govern the hundreds or thousands of internal APIs and API products required for the largest enterprises. It is used to abstract the business knowledge away from any particular technology or coding format and also to abstract relevant information and capability offerings from your existing landscape to rapidly develop new digital business functions.

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Who is successfully doing this? Are there examples?

There are a few exceptional enterprises who are already leveraging the blended abstraction layer approach to gain competitive advantage in their fields. This article gives an example of how this can work, across the whole lifecycle, using the ignite platform.

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