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How API-Led Connectivity Addresses Digital Transformation Challenges

By Lori Angalich | Thu, Oct 29, 2020

Digital transformation challenges go far beyond what to run, what to move to the cloud, and what processes to streamline.

Digital transformation is vast, encompassing everything from cloud, integration, AI, data analytics, IoT, customer experience, innovation, and more—and touches all areas of the business. Companies are investing in their digital transformation initiatives for a variety of reasons, including improving operations, increasing the value they deliver to their customers and stakeholders, and/or outpacing their competitors. 

It's a major shift involving integrating digital technology into all functions, levels, and processes—as well as cultural, operational and organizational change.  The potential benefits are significant, including increased efficiency, accelerated innovation, superior products and experiences, and greater profitability.

Integration is a major component of digital transformation success. Most organizations find that, the further they go into their transformation initiatives, the more that they need to connect and integrate.

Everything as a Service (XaaS), the Internet of Things (IoT), and mobile require seamless integration for you to get the most out of your investment. However, the traditional point-to-point approach to integration won’t work for the rapidly increasing number of endpoints and the constantly changing IT landscape.

By putting a comprehensive integration strategy in place and adopting API-led connectivity, organizations can meet these challenges head-on and accelerate digital transformation success. Let’s explore what this looks like.
 

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5 Ways to Improve Your Integration Strategy

By Lori Angalich | Fri, Oct 23, 2020

Today, companies need to deliver services quickly to avoid disruption and keep up with the rapid pace of change. This is leading many of them to adopt cloud-based technologies. Typically, this leads to a multi-cloud or hybrid approach, and by 2021, Gartner anticipates over 75 percent of organizations steering onto this course. But to successfully use cloud-based technology, integration strategy needs to come to the forefront of all discussions.

For organizations overwhelmed by the array of integration options, from platform software to proprietary vendor tools and custom code, developing an integration strategy will help focus efforts and narrow down integration tool choices. Here are ways to make sure you're setting up your organization for success.

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Connecting Hybrid Environments Requires a Well-Planned Approach

By Lori Angalich | Tue, Jul 21, 2020

Connectivity between systems is as much a part of doing business today as installing telephone lines was decades ago. Data from legacy systems, Software as a Service (SaaS) products, mobile devices, and even Internet of Things (IoT)-enabled devices needs to be collected, analyzed, and leveraged to get the most value from it. 

However, this poses a challenge for most organizations. A mix of complex in-house cloud-based software, solutions, services, and infrastructure can be difficult to connect and integrate. Add in the need to connect partner systems to unlock new opportunities with data, and it may seem like an impossible task. 

Many legacy systems weren’t designed with a connected future in mind, and connecting to SaaS products requires a flexible, agile approach to maximize the investment in these existing solutions. 

This means embracing a hybrid environment, where some systems are in the cloud, some are on-premise, and all of them are successfully integrated.

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5 Ways APIs Accelerate Legacy System Modernization

By Lori Angalich | Tue, Jun 16, 2020

What do bell bottoms and the mainframe computer all have in common? They both gained popularity over 50 years ago, but (hopefully) only one of them is still found in enterprises: the mainframe.

For many enterprises, the mainframe has been a solid performer—one that often still runs critical back-office accounting and ERP applications.

However, to keep up with the ever-increasing volumes of data, requirements for greater performance and scalability, and escalating customer demands—it has become essential to modernize legacy systems and applications like these. Modernization isn’t just for companies running systems from the 1960’s, but any company struggling to keep up with these requirements. It’s critical for being more competitive, accelerating innovation, and keeping costs down.

IT decision-makers agree. In the financial services sector alone, almost four-fifths of operations leaders at North American banks said they must update their technology to drive innovation—or risk extinction.

And as companies are trying to stabilize and adapt to changes resulting from the COVID-19 crisis, modernization has become an important part of increasing agility, reducing costs, and avoiding disruption. 

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Understanding App Connect Enterprise as an API Microgateway

By John Hawkins | Thu, Apr 11, 2019

One of IBM's best-known secrets is that they have two solutions that can act as API Management microgateways.

This is a short post to highlight the various ways that you can expose APIs using IBM products and, in particular, the IBM App Connect Enterprise (formerly IIB) microgateway functionality.

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Want a 360-Degree View of Your Customers? Look to APIs.

By Lori Angalich | Tue, Feb 05, 2019

It’s no secret that customers want a connected, on-demand experience—but companies often fall short of delivering on those expectations.

According to the Consumer Connectivity Insights 2018 report, 81 percent of consumers are frustrated with what they perceive to be a disconnected experience, and more than two-thirds of consumers say a disconnected experience would make them consider switching service providers.

Part of this may be because 65 percent of consumers also want to interact with companies via messaging apps such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, but a large part of the disconnected experience is because companies don’t have a 360-degree view of the customer.

The research found that less than 10 percent of companies have a 360-degree view of the customer. They only have access to a fraction of customer information in real-time, which not only hampers customer service levels but also makes it challenging to create personalized Web and mobile interfaces, applications and other tailored experiences for their customers.

However, organizations often face challenges when attempting a 360-degree view of the customer, usually due to their current IT architecture. Manual aggregation is too time-consuming and doesn’t deliver data in real-time. The data changes quickly, making it difficult to process in a timely fashion. Their static data lakes are not flexible enough to allow companies to get the most from their data, and integrations can be complex and brittle due to the number of disparate systems and the data silos they create.

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6 Shocking Truths About the Real Costs of Data Breaches

By Lightwell | Wed, Jan 09, 2019

After its massive data breach, Equifax estimated that its related costs would total $439 million by the end of 2018—but the real costs could be upwards of $600 million after dealing with government investigations and civil lawsuits. While this could be the most expensive data breach in history, the sheer volume of records drove up the costs exponentially.

Data breaches are costlier than most people think—and the cost keeps on growing. The 2018 study Ponemon Institute Cost of a Data Breach Study found that the average cost of a data breach is $3.86 million, an increase of 6.4% over 2017.  According to the overall findings from the study, data breaches continue to be costlier and result in more records being stolen year after year.  And no matter the size of a company, records are at risk.

Data breaches are the most expensive in the US and Canada, averaging $233 and $202 per capita, respectively, according to the Ponemon Institute. While cost fluctuates across industries and countries, the number clearly shows a dire truth: data breaches cut significantly into a company’s profits, often deeply.

But the real cost of data breaches goes much deeper than just the data lost; factors at play include missed opportunities, lost customers, and costs associated with remediating the data breach. In addition, certain factors like third-party involvement can increase the cost of data breaches. Let’s explore some of the additional costs.

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3 Ways Financial Services Companies Are Capitalizing on APIs

By Lori Angalich | Thu, Jan 03, 2019

While some financial institutions may not be known for being on the cutting edge of innovation, several powerful forces have been driving the need for digital transformation, the development of new products and services, and more compelling customer experiences in the financial services industry.

Market conditions like an uncertain economy and increasing regulations, combined with increased customer expectations and agile new entrants to the market, have led financial institutions to move forward with digital initiatives to help be on the leading edge of technology.

However, this has not come without its pains. Business leaders are under pressure to deliver digital transformations faster, along with reduced costs. IT leaders must deliver increased volumes of projects, remove IT as the bottleneck to innovation, and move the focus of the department from keeping the business running to growing the business. Application architects face pressure to incorporate new digital technologies into legacy stacks (including the trusty mainframes) in an agile, flexible way to avoid creating brittle integrations that require constant maintenance. The IT department is being called upon to drive change.

At first glance, traditional, point-to-point integrations may seem like the most logical choice to link together disparate systems and provide access for customers and partners. However, these types of integrations are time-consuming, very system-dependent, and costly to maintain. Each additional system requires new coding and connections, and when the system needs an upgrade, developers and architects are left scrambling to ensure the code is compatible with the upgrade.

Is there a better way than this duct-tape approach?  Leading financial services institutions have already discovered it: APIs. With an API-led integration approach, these institutions are improving their expense to revenue ratios, attracting and retaining customers, and responding rapidly to industry threats. Furthermore, their API Management solutions provide important connectivity, security, and change management capabilities to meet the needs of line of business users, customers, and partners.

In this post, we’ll explore three real-life examples of financial services companies leveraging APIs and the advantages they have achieved.

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How to Choose the Right API Management Platform for You

By John Hawkins | Fri, Nov 30, 2018

Many of our customers are currently deciding which API Management Platform to use in their organization. With so many of them to choose from and a confusion of terminology, this is not an easy task.

I see RFPs with long lists of criteria, but I often think that the choice should be based on some other, softer, questions.

I'll outline here some thought processes I use to help our customers choose which API Platform is right for them.

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API Security: More Than Just a Throttling Policy

By John Hawkins | Fri, Oct 26, 2018

API Management promises a nirvana of exposing and securing data using well-known and simple techniques. Vendors focus on how easy it is to create the APIs and nearly always mention security as part of their API lifecycle story.  

Yet, we've all seen the headlines screaming the latest security breach. So, what does “Security” really mean when it comes to API Management? 

In this post I’ll try to differentiate the basic policies that all vendors discuss from the many other attack vectors that we need to be aware of. 

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