In this post, we introduce digital recombination as the goal state of large enterprises for digital market leadership. We discuss why it’s so important to be able to rapidly and innovatively combine APIs, Services and Events, and how to get there.
Large Enterprises are Striving to Become Nimble and Digitally Responsive – Digital Recombination is a Key Enabler
All enterprises are digital businesses. For existing market leaders this means in practice, becoming a world-class innovative development shop. Technical differentiation is now synonymous with market leadership, and winners are nimble and responsive like their digitally-native competitors.
To do this, IT and business capabilities need to be structured and organized in a way they can be rapidly reconfigured to support digital initiatives and IT modernization. Moreover, to deliver these initiatives in parallel.
The goal state for digital market leadership is one which facilitates enterprise-wide digital recombination. This enables you to rapidly launch new products and services, and opens up entry into new markets and business models (just like we’re seeing with big tech).
What is Digital Recombination?
We’re taking a term (recombination) from the biology world, where DNA strands swap segments of code to promote genetic diversity. The process causes advantageous gene mutations which enables out-competing in the wild.
The term is also used when referring to innovation – recombinant innovation involves bringing two distinct technologies together to create something new. A great example of recombinant innovation is Pfizer’s approach to their Covid-19 vaccine; its treatment uses 280 components from 86 suppliers.
When we equate this to an enterprise, digital recombination is the ability to constantly recombine modularized existing business and technical capabilities (represented as APIs, Services, and Events mapped to a business capability model) rapidly and innovatively to gain competitive advantage.
Tactics to get to the Digital Recombination goal state
There are several stages of digital recombination ability, and if done right this can net you compounded innovation and digital market leadership.
Stage 1 – Enable Developer-led recombination
- Your organization needs a catalog of all your APIs, Services, Events, which represent your business and IT capabilities, well-organized and easy to find and understand – a single source of truth for everything you already have.
- This enables you to identify candidates for recombination and prioritise your innovation roadmap.
- This is a great first step and can be quickly implemented with the help of the right tools.
- This step provides instant costs savings and reduces technical debt.
Stage 2 – Normalize and capture the complexity to enable accelerated recombination
- A well organized catalog with quickly help you to identify the most valuable target APIs/Events and Services for recombination. These become your digital building blocks.
- These identified APIs need to be made consistent. Good tools can assist in this process of normalization through automatic enforcement – i.e. assets made consistent, reliable, and conformant to governance and enterprise standards.
- Every component that is recombined the first time will capture the extensive digital complexity your APIs have as a large enterprise – e.g. versions, lineage and dependencies, lifecycle status, endpoints, approval workflows.
- This second step delivers improved velocity of innovation whilst ensuring security and governance.
Stage 3 – Enable enterprise-wide compounded recombination
- With stage 1 and 2 in place, you can open up recombination across the org to business and wider technical roles, LoBs etc.
- Your enterprise is working together, compounding innovation and accelerating digital recombination, but as you’ve done stage 1 and 2 it’s safe and within your enterprise’s guardrails.
- With this the enterprise can move as quickly as digital competitors and that, combined with your existing market dominance makes a winning formula!
Free Webinar Recording: Enterprise digital recombination – recommended roadmap
If this goal state sounds exactly where you’re trying to get to, we recently hosted a webinar to discuss the roadmap to the digital recombination in detail for large orgs, and demonstrate recombination at each stage. You can download the webinar recording here.