The journey to becoming the “intelligent enterprise” (i.e. one where there is seamless management of people, process and technology) usually begins with a step back to consider which core capabilities the enterprise is engaged in. This is a starting point for the digital transformation strategy. What are we good at? Is digital a threat or an opportunity?
This high-level view is relatively easy to arrive at. The real problems then hit when you drill down into the existing technology and processes that support a specific business function, only to realize they were designed for a world that is very different to today’s reality. At this point, it is very easy to get lost in the detail of how to adapt the old to the new, and lose sight of why you are doing this in the first place.
The business hasn’t changed, but the channel to market has and will continue to do so at a fast and furious pace.
Exceptional enterprises have realized that they should capture the vision in the form of a modularized model of their business capabilities that includes the technology functions which are needed to support it.
Recent changes in technology have enabled this modularized model to be connected to your existing applications and processes, in a way that’s easy to replace applications with more modern cloud-based ones whilst keeping the lights on.
These connected modules or building blocks are often called business capability APIs as they can be compared to the Amazon model of a block of code with a comprehensive API.
Grouping together business and IT capabilities in a modularized form (with each module being properly documented) is a vital enabler to the intelligent enterprise as everyone has a single source of truth and a common reference point.
Here’s some further reading on this topic:
- Developing with business capability APIs
- Business capability APIs vs Exposure APIs
- Developing with business capability APIs: pros and cons
Want to see what an abstraction layer of digitized business functions actually looks like? Read the next article in this series here.