The DX platform is the future technology architecture that accelerates DX initiatives for the Enterprise. It enables the rapid creation of externally facing digital products, services, and experiences while aggressively modernizing the internal IT environment toward an "intelligent core" in parallel. Organizations that can "re-architect for scale" using the DX platform approach will stand out as most likely to be "digitally transformed" over the next three to five years and emerge as a digital native enterprise in that time frame.
The DX platform is primarily an externally facing platform — with the key objective to create a network, or ecosystem, of connected customers, partners, and suppliers that use (and pay for) the information and services available to them. In addition to this external focus, this platform requires an approach that aggressively modernizes legacy (or core IT) environments to redefine processes and capabilities for both internal and external purposes.
The platform provides and uses four different "types" of services:
- The intelligent core
- Integration and orchestration services
- PaaS and developer services
- Engagement services
Service Type I: The Intelligent Core
What is the Intelligent Core?
The intelligent core connects all technology decisions of an enterprise with the philosophical development and deployment choices made by an organization. This core includes PaaS and developer services -- including the deployment environments that customers will consume—such as Container as a service (CaaS), Function as a service (FaaS), and traditional application execution environments (all of which can be grouped under the broad category of platform as a service).
What's the value of the Intelligent Core?
The intelligent core houses data that has been identified as providing value to the enterprise beyond single systems and processes. Its focus is on producing better actions and outcomes in real time as part of the day-to-day operations of the business by improving awareness of available data, augmentation of human decision making, and the automation of tasks and process decisions made by humans.
The Intelligent Core brings the following capabilities categories to the enterprise:
- Describe: Identifies conditions that may require further analysis
- Predict: Determines the likelihood that an action is required
- Prescribe: Makes an automated decision about what to do next.
- Learn: A key building block of the intelligent core is learning services that enable constant monitoring of activities throughout the detection, prediction, prescription, and action steps
Service Type II: Integration and Orchestration
What are Integration and Orchestration services?
Integration and orchestration services are a key component of the overall DX platform, providing connectivity for the exchange of data and services across a decentralized architecture, supporting real-time and near-real-time transactional and analytic requirements for experiential engagements, ecosystem awareness, augmented decision making, automated and connected products and services, and more.
Why are Integration and Orchestration services important?
These services run at speeds that are too fast for human management, which makes them more dependent on automation and self-management. If you were to implement these services in the DX platform environment, you would see that they:
- Increase automation
- Embed and improve security
- Scale horizontally and infinitely in server and serverless environments
- Improve elasticity and resilience
- Automate problem detection, prevention, and resolution
- Decrease overall costs by building and managing the lowest level of integration and orchestration services on ultra-cost-efficient software and infrastructure
- Increase run-time portability
- Be available on a self-service basis to multiple roles, including partners, third-party developers, non-integration specialists, data scientists, business analysts, and end users
Service Type III: PaaS and Developer Services
Enterprise leaders must recognize the changes taking place in the development and platform services markets, and how those changes will influence their organization's DX strategy. Two critical — but separate — aspects to development and deployment are: 1) Operational shifts and 2) Development/ Deployment decisions
What are concerns for operational shifts?
Organizations need to have a candid discussion covering the following topics:
- Embracing DevOps
- A rational approach to application life cycles
- Automation and artificial intelligence
- Embracing the API economy
What are some development actions to consider?
- Application Modernization
- Development Paradigm
- Code Packaging Shifts
- Cloud Deployment
Service Type IV: Engagement and Experience Services
What are Engagement and Experience services?
Engagement and experience services provide the necessary interaction points and services for customers, suppliers, and partners to interact with the enterprise, whether in physical or a digital form.
Why are engagement and experience services important?
Engagement and experience services will play a greater role in the digital transformation of the enterprise over the next three to five years, and it's urgent for technology and business leaders to understand the role they will play in the digital transformation of the enterprise.
Engagement and experience services enable digital transformation in the enterprise by making possible:
1) Sharing of data with partners to facilitate operations and interactions, ensuring necessary, adequate, and timely resources, supplies, and products from suppliers and providing information about the products and services that the enterprise provides to the customers.
2) Coordination of information and data about the customer to and across the enterprise.
3) Delivery of the product and or service to the customer in either a digital or physical form.
4) Supporting the use of the product and/or service by the customer after purchase.
5) Providing information and recommendations about additional products and services that the customer may purchase.
As customers, suppliers, and partners become more digitally enabled, the successful implementation of engagement and experience services that tie back into a digital transformed core set of services and data as part of a transition to a digitally transformed enterprise may well determine the viability of that enterprise in the future.
Co-Author, Bob Parker, Group Vice President, IDC