Digital Transformation has profoundly changed the way businesses operate or, in fact, our society as a whole works in more aspects than most people have even anticipated. A lot of praise is given to the benefits of digitalization, such as lower operational costs, higher agility, improved customer insights and other competitive advantages. Technologies like mobile devices and cloud computing have enabled entirely new business models and revenue sources possible – for some organizations, digital data has even become the primary product.
However, to stay competitive during the times when business models and technology landscapes change daily, enterprises must reinvent many of their business processes to achieve new levels of agility and flexibility. Combined with the growing shortage of skilled IT professionals, this can lead to serious challenges. Security and compliance risks of modern digital technologies, from phishing to ransomware and data breaches, are common knowledge nowadays, but the problems do not end there.
To keep up with the digital innovation and to successfully become a part of a global digital economy, businesses are increasingly becoming software companies themselves, building their digital products and customer experiences and striving to bring them to the market ahead of their competitors. Moreover, dealing in digital products necessitates maintaining numerous communication and data exchange channels with business partners, contractors and, in certain industries, even government agencies. While the former challenge can be addressed to an extent with existing software and cloud services, the latter, because of the unique nature of each enterprise's intellectual property, is something every company must implement on their own. And in most scenarios, this boils down to designing, implementing, and productizing an API.
APIs are ubiquitous, serving as the main integration medium between heterogeneous technology platforms, distributed applications, cloud services, mobile and smart devices. Nowadays, everything is API-enabled. In a world where information is the "crown jewel" of many businesses, APIs are now powering the logistics of delivering digital products to partners and customers. The ability to create digital products based on APIs quickly, reliably, and securely is therefore a crucial factor defining a modern, agile, and connected enterprise.
Unfortunately, while the initial success of REST APIs was largely determined by the ease of their implementation, modern API development, management, and security is a complicated endeavor that must cover the whole lifecycle of an API product and incorporate multiple tools, services and required skills. To address these challenges in other areas of software development, multiple approaches have been suggested – from managed services and software-as-a-service solutions to the concept of "citizen development", where line-of-business users themselves are supposed to take over creating their own tools using low-code/no-code solutions.
A comprehensive digital innovation platform - well-integrated yet extensible, enterprise-ready yet accessible to citizen developers, cloud-native yet supporting hybrid use cases – is what modern businesses need to keep up with the pace of digital transformation. Such a solution, of course, cannot be limited to just developing software: it must support full lifecycle management for digital experiences, essentially combining the capabilities of existing application, identity, and data management platforms.
WSO2 is a global application development company headquartered in California, USA. Founded in 2005, the company offers a wide array of open-source software solutions that can enable digital innovation and digital transformation. These products can handle enterprise challenges in today's world in the areas of API management, integration, identity management, and smart analytics/stream processing.