digital-transformation-journey-akana
August 26, 2021

Your Digital Transformation Journey: 5 Steps for Success

Digital Transformation
API Lifecycle Management

“If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.” – Lao Tzu

Your digital transformation journey is not just about technology. It’s about acknowledging that the journey began long ago. As your enterprise started incorporating technology into more and more business processes, a trajectory was set.

But will this trajectory lead to greater competitiveness and growth? For that to happen, you must overcome many of the common challenges faced in digital transformation initiatives.

Consider the following:

  • According to IDG, 89% of organizations have adopted or plan to adopt digital-first strategies.
  • Yet only 7% say they’re already an enterprise-wide digital business.
  • Average life expectancy of a Fortune 500 has dwindled from 90 years in 1935 to under 15  in recent years.

The point is digital transformation efforts are growing. But few companies have managed to completely transform their businesses and remain competitive.

So, what separates the winners from the losers?

API management.

5 Steps in Your Digital Transformation Journey

APIs plays a crucial role in speeding the strategy that drives your digital transformation journey. The following are 5 key steps in a successful digital transformation journey.

1. Use APIs to Accelerate Digital Transformation

API management can significantly speed your digital transformation efforts. How? API management creates new markets for your business, improves customer and partner experiences, and unlocks greater agility in the enterprise. Using an API-first approach to application design means you have the infrastructure in place to scale your technology more rapidly.

What does this mean, exactly?

APIs act as proxies built on top of your applications, services, and databases. Historically, many organizations have built apps and services first. And then build APIs to manage, expose, or consume external and internal enterprise technology.

When you instead build your API management infrastructure up front, you have a comprehensive ecosystem to manage digital transformation. And a single dashboard for doing so.

Yet, even companies ahead of the digital transformation game can benefit from this approach. APIs can be scaled to grapple with dozens, or even hundreds of technology endpoints.

With Akana, creating APIs is fast and easy. We help companies create and expose APIs with a variety of formats including RESTful, SOAP-based, or even AMQP-conformant message brokers.

So why does this matter? The point of fast and easy API creation is speed-to-market — which directly impacts your bottom line. The sooner your APIs, and their associated applications, are available for consumption — the sooner you can grow your customer base in new digital channels.

2. Map Your Customer Needs to Internal Technology Requirements

Your customers should be at the heart of your digital transformation. Many times, we will look to platforms or technology before asking our customers what experiences they desire. As you scale, use customer intelligence to inform your decision making. Create experiences that will engage your customers no matter their channel, or desired format.

This can directly inform what services, applications, or processes you prioritize. So how can API management help?

API analytics offer insights into consumption channels, usage, and performance of your APIs. This can help paint a picture of how, or if, your services and applications are being used by customers. Likewise it can demonstrate functional shortcomings or advantages of your APIs and services in various channels.

At Akana, our API analytics come out of the box with statistical algorithms and models. In addition, you’ll get interactive visualizations, dashboards, and easy-to-use customizations. All of this can help you better understand your customers, and your API technology performance.

This adds up to a data-informed digital transformation.

3. Develop Your Strategy

What’s a digital transformation strategy? This is the roadmap for your journey. It’s your plan of action. It describes how you’ll transform your business to meet the needs of a digital economy. You’ll do this using social, mobile, analytics, and cloud technology. And APIs are the glue that hold all of these channels together, while simplifying endpoint complexity.

A digital transformation roadmap has three key components:

  • Define the value up front. Your goals must be clear. Your customer journey should inform these goals. Senior management needs to get on board in order for you to achieve success.
  • Build a digital transformation culture. New cultural norms will be required on both technical and non-technical teams. Without a cultural shift, technical processes cannot ensure digital transformation.
  • Scale as you go. Take an iterative and agile approach to building services. Disruption is the goal, even if you’re disrupting yourself.

Disrupt or Be Disrupted

In this ebook you’ll learn how to drive your digital transformation strategy with APIs.

📕Get the Ebook📕

4. Implement Your Roadmap

Your roadmap is not meant to be all-encompassing. And you should meet regularly to review whether your objectives, progress, and transformation are successful. Market forces are a moving target. Be prepared to change gears as you travel this road.

Remember your implementation will not be a set-and-forget exercise. The days of monolith applications are long gone, and the mindset should follow suit. There are three layers to focus on in your implementation.

People

Talent is the heart and soul of every business. During your implementation phase, focus attention first on ensuring your people understand their role in digital transformation and are satisfied. This may require bringing on new talent, resources, or changing the makeup of development and strategy teams. Again, leadership must be 100% invested in the strategy in order for it to succeed.

Processes

Next, you must focus on the processes that will ensure optimal digital transformation outcomes. This won’t happen overnight. Everything from databases, clouds, internal IT, and executive processes may need attention. You can quickly test various agile or sprint-based processes with select teams to find a fit for your organization.

Technology

This is the category many organizations jump right into when they begin their digital transformation. Implementing new technology can help, but only if the appropriate people and processes are in place first. As we have discussed, API management can streamline and simplify many aspects of the digital transformation process.

5. Promote Your Transformation Across the Enterprise

A key aspect to ensuring long-term success with digital transformation is evangelizing your efforts across your enterprise. And keep in mind that some resistance is normal. Change will always bring some turbulence and there are some key strategies for gaining buy in. Here’s how.

Create a Sense of Ownership

If employees at your organization feel like they’re being forced to shift gears, you might encounter resistance. Instead, create a sense of ownership and pride by involving key team members early on in the process.  

Demonstrate the Benefits to Your Team

Digital transformation should signal to your team that your company is gaining a competitive edge. If you can help your team see the bigger picture, and their role in it, then the benefits will become clear. Describe how outcomes from this transformation could impact mobility, pay, or future job prospects.

Foster Experimentation and Innovation

Key to this process is encouraging your talent to remain innovative. As your organization wades into greater digital effectiveness, your employees likewise will need to sharpen their skills. The best method for achieving this is to empower them to innovate and experiment with processes, tools, workshops, and more.

How Akana Accelerates Your Digital Transformation Journey

Akana accelerates your digital transformation by:

  1. Unlocking greater agility and speed of development tasks using APIs.
  2. Creating pathways for internal technology to more rapidly meet customer and stakeholder needs.
  3. Speeding strategic technology adoption through API consumption and exposure capabilities.
  4. Connecting people, processes, and technology more rapidly through a cohesive API management platform supporting all enterprise technology.
  5. Making digital transformation more accessible to employees through internal APIs and systems simplification.

The Akana API platform provides the easiest way to securely transform the enterprise without sacrificing speed. Why? Akana makes it easy to create, expose, manage, and consume APIs. To put it simply, Akana allows you to deploy faster and more securely through a variety of automated features. When you choose Akana, you can:

  • Reduce time-to-market with API deployment.
  • Automate security to improve API gateway functioning and compliance.
  • Increase speed of adoption and integration across multiple API gateways.

▶️Watch the Demo