Abstraction LayerCore System ReplacementDigital TransformationIT Modernization

How to Build an Abstraction Layer of Digitized Business Functions

Abstraction Layer 101

Our previous blog entry has explained WHY intelligent enterprises rely on a blended abstraction layer. Interestingly, it doesn’t take as long to build one as you might think.

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. Organizing them is often simpler if you have, or choose to use, a standard taxonomy or set of taxonomies.

This is just the first step. Once the abstraction layer is in place, it requires management and extension throughout the organization. Platforms like ignite from DigitalML are available to help with this.

Here’s our overall view of the reinvention journey to intelligent enterprise using an abstraction layer of digitized business functions:

Step 1: Build your Service Catalog

Harvest existing IT Service assets (APIs, Microservices, legacy services). Rationalize them, map them to a business capability model, and fill in the gaps.

Now you have a complete view of what you have, where you have it, and who’s using it

Step 2: Service Lifecycle Automation for your Microservices, APIs and Legacy Services

Automated and information-model-based approach with baked-in best practises and governance so all new building blocks and API Products are consistent and well-managed.

Create, update, deprecate in a fraction of the time.

Step 3: Federated Development and Self-Service Governance

Easily roll out across the enterprise as a front end to your CI/CD pipelines.

Business and IT are now one cohesive team.

Step 4: Self Bundle API Products

Combine building block service components (APIs, Microservices and Legacy services) to form API Products that support a pipeline of business functions and opportunities for digital transformation.

Step 5: IT Modernization

Now everyone is working with a holistic service catalog which is abstracted from any specific technology or code base.

You’re ready to leverage ignite to repurpose monolithic legacy applications to cloud technologies.

Your enterprise is now as Agile and Lean as the digital disruptors.


    Once steps 1 – 3 are complete, the competitive advantages become very clear. The ability to rapidly prototype new digital offerings and scale them after market testing allows you to freely try new ideas without the traditional costs and timescales.

    How to Build an Abstraction LayerThe next article in this series explains how the abstraction layer is managed and who uses it. You can read it here.

    Jeremy Sindall

    Jeremy is Founder and CEO of digitalML. He specializes in helping the largest enterprises use an abstraction layer of digitized business functions to gain competitive advantage over both incumbents and digital disruptors.

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