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The digital economy is here: What it means for the enterprise

By Catherine Knowles
Mon 14 Dec 2015
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Digital solutions can enable organisations by improving operational efficiency, reimagining the customer experience and inventing new business models, according to Axway, the global software company.

The digital economy is also putting more pressure on businesses, as customers become more powerful than ever before and have much higher expectations.

“In the digital economy, there are heightened expectations for what makes a delightful customer experience and this shift is forcing organisations to reengineer their developer and partner ecosystems, a trend we expect to accelerate in 2016,” says Jeanine Banks, Axway EVP of global products and solutions.

“To survive, and ultimately to be successful, organisations will need a robust integration foundation that can bridge the physical and virtual worlds to connect people, businesses and things while unleashing actionable insights from data flows in real-time,” she says.

Axway has shared predictions for 2016 so organisations can maximise on the benefits of the digital economy, and meet challenges that arise.

Unpredictability will become a core competency

Axway says increasing regulatory and competitive pressures are constantly creating a new business normal.

Organisations will embrace unpredictability - the idea that there really is no normal - and leverage integration and analytics technology to rapidly innovate in new and unexpected ways.

APIs will be as pervasive as electricity

Driven by the growth of cloud services, mobile devices and the Internet of Things, the adoption of APIs will be analogous to using electricity - it will not only be ubiquitous, but necessary to thrive in the digital economy, Axway says.

From both external use cases like linking cloud applications with on-premises systems to internal use cases where automation of processes in backend systems is required, organisations will speed up their use of APIs in order to keep pace with the innovation curve.

Context will define a great user experience

With consumers in the driving seat - thanks to digital technologies enabling them to instantly buy anything from anyone and have it delivered anywhere - organisations will have to be able to provide personalised, omnichannel experiences that seamlessly transition physical and virtual worlds, according to Axway.

Data about consumer activity, behaviour and buying patterns, enriched by the social graph, will be summoned to tailor each and every digital moment to consumer needs, the company says.

Supply chains will be optimised for digital products and currencies

With digital technologies dismantling traditional business value chains and fuelling an ever-expanding supplier network, enterprises will invent new digital products and retailers will find new ways to apply loyalty programmes that go far beyond simply collecting points, says Axway.

These new opportunities will be enabled by innovative digital business models that will empower new forms of connectivity and cooperation between business partners.    

Mobile alone will no longer drive bolt-on digital strategies

Next year a mobile application will no longer, in and of itself, constitute a digital strategy, Axway says.

Organisations will focus on how they can fully embed digital technologies in order to move beyond functional efficiencies and enable entirely new business models.

As organisations begin to think more holistically about digital, the focus will shift to digital enablement and how the underlying enterprise technology foundation can support digital connectivity, services and experiences, according to the company.

Microservices hit the enterprise, but with a systematic approach to governance

The explosion of microservices architecture will force organisations to consider operational challenges.

While the benefits are fuelling demand - isolation of services for rapid, asynchronous and continuous delivery - enterprises will evolve their development methodologies and service operations to a DevOps approach, says Axway.

Banks will become digital disruptors

Banks will experiment with digital capabilities as customers look for new offerings. Fintech startups have made a lot of noise in the financial sector recently, and banks, traditionally viewed as slow moving and highly regulated, are adopting technologies such as APIs to power new functionality in the digital era.

From blockchain technology to wearables, banks around the world will navigate global complexity to respond to startup disruptors, according to Axway.

Cloud computing isn’t an all-or-nothing strategy

Organisations fearful of moving entirely into the cloud will realise they don’t have to do so. The hybrid cloud will become the IT model of choice as CIOs choose to move only certain systems into the cloud while simultaneously adopting a variety of cloud native applications, such as ServiceNow, Salesforce and Workday, Axway says.

The reality of a digital journey will set in

As enterprises attempt digital initiatives, they will encounter setbacks. Digital leaders will realise their ability to champion roadmaps consisting of focused projects with a measurable return in the boardroom is essential to their longevity.

Yet, the most successful digital executives will drive the cutting edge of innovation by elegantly weaving together unique business models and experiences, says Axway.

Integration ninjas will prevail

As the Internet of Things matures, mobile devices feeds instant gratification, big data becomes bigger and APIs proliferate, new ecosystems of developers and partners will form.

From wearables to smart machines, companies in every industry will boost their mastery of integration and become capable of securely connecting anything to everything, removing borders between the physical and virtual world to reach the promised land of digital business, according to Axway.

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