Digital Transformation is focused on improving customer experience.  In a Forrester study (commissioned by IBM), Forrester found large numbers of businesses (over 85%) are:

  • Improving web site experiences and flow
  • Adding or improving mobile customer experiences
  • Transforming their culture to be more customer-centric
  • Collecting and analyzing data on customers’ digital experiences to improve future interactions


These are impressive results for customers who are already dealing with your business and using your web site or mobile app.  However, digital transformation is also about reaching out to potential customers on their terms – where they are and not only those that are coming to your business.  Becoming a digital business is a channel strategy intended to improve customer experience and reach more customers.

 


Many businesses are leveraging cloud and partnering strategies to develop cloud-enabled products and services which are redefining customer relationships and supporting an expansion into new industries and geographies.  To provide a high-quality customer experience in existing customer interfaces and these new cloud-enabled products requires timely access to data and insights related to the customer.  However, many businesses are seeing data inconsistencies due to a lack of real time integration.  No matter the system, no matter the cloud, integration provides access to data you need to craft that unique customer experience.

 

Customer data lives all over your enterprise and outside it as well.  This includes: multiple public clouds, your private cloud, legacy systems, Internet of Things, weather data, mobile device information, and more.  Proactive enterprises are leveraging data from across their enterprise and combining this with other sources from outside the enterprise to fuel their insights.  For example, Walmart saw a 99% decrease in time to deliver resources to developers, from 5 days to 10 seconds (video).

 

Integrating these disparate sources of information requires several types of integration technologies:

  • APIs – Manage access to services in and outside of your company opening data securely to share and monetize.
  • Application integration – Connect applications on-premise or in the cloud to drive business transformation and synchronize key data elements across applications.
  • File Transfer – Move massive amounts of data rapidly and predictably allowing the adoption of cloud platforms even when data is very large.
  • Messaging – Reliable data communication between application boundaries which minimizes latency driving event based architectures.
  • Data – Cleanses and prepares data for a consistent view of the customer. Drives data for analytics.

 

Businesses across all industries are investing in key use cases using multi-cloud integration technologies to drive digital transformations.  A few examples are:

  • Banking – Blockchain enablement, regulatory compliance, end to end data encryption
  • Retail – Improved customer experience, predictive modeling, new sources of customer data
  • Insurance – Track risk behaviors
  • Telco – Digital service provider, platform services
  • Media and Entertainment – High speed data transfer
  • Government – Ultra secure data transfer, sharing assets across agencies

 

When you integrate your data and applications, along with outside assets, you gain a 360-degree view of the customer.  This can provide an understanding of the customer in context – for example, incorporating changing weather and environmental conditions.

 


IBM has provided market leading integration products separately in each of these areas.  Now, acquiring these products is even simpler.  IBM recently announced the Cloud Integration Platform as a single purchasable product that contains all these important integration technologies.  The IBM Cloud Integration platform is:

Simple:

  • 100s of pre-built connectors tackle everything from simple apps to complex ERPs
  • Free up IT staff to create new apps to enhance customer experiences
  • Collaborate across integration styles and across IT/LOB boundaries

Fast:

  • Collect all the data your organization and the cloud can offer
  • Channel it at scale at incredibly rapid speeds that work predictably
  • Scale through container-based architectures in your private cloud

Secure:

  • End-to-end encryption of every message, every time, without impact on speed
  • Protect the end points at the edge of your enterprise
  • Crucial messages are delivered once and only once

 

The cloud integration platform also provides flexibility as your integration needs change.  Because the
platform contains all the integration technologies, if your integration needs change, you can simply stop (or decrease) using one technology and start using another, no additional purchase is required.

 

IBM Cloud Integration is the only cloud solution that:

  • Has cognitive API integration in our DNA thanks to Watson Cognitive APIs
  • Gives your developers AND LoB integrators the ability to create connections between any applications with drag-and-drop simplicity
  • Allows you to create, deploy, manage and secure APIs in minutes instead of days or weeks
  • Secures your messaging queue from end-to-end without slowing down operations
  • Has the capability of moving very large files extremely rapidly and with low bandwidth costs.

 

IBM Cloud Integration delivers an experience that strives to make complexity as opaque as possible for both your customers and your staff.  It provides an experience so simple that LOB users can securely connect apps and extract customer data, so fast that you can work seamlessly across a hybrid landscape that spans one or more clouds, and so secure that you can move with confidence to adopt cloud technologies to digitally transform your business.

 

To understand more about IBM’s thoughts on the API Economy visit the IBM API Economy website.  IBM API Connect is IBM’s complete foundation to Create, Run, Manage, and Secure APIs.  You can find more information about IBM API Connect at the API Connect website.  And you can also experience a trial version of API Connect.

 

If you have questions, please let me know.  Connect with me through comments here or via twitter @Arglick to continue the discussion.

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