Digital transformation goes beyond digitizing processes like payments or other financial services.

It embodies re-envisioning your company and how it can embrace the needs, desires and expectations of customers in our increasingly connected times. Increasingly, application programming interfaces (API), or open technology development tools that power payment apps for many e-commerce companies, can also be used to speed broader digitization, marketing and cross selling.

To help companies plan their next steps, The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) maps a digitization strategy framework with simple steps and a diagram. The example below focuses on some of these steps, showing how an API strategy can help implement key parts of an enterprise’s digital transformation.

Aspiring to WOW Customers. Aspiring to offer customers more benefit requires a more intimate knowledge of who those customers are, both in general and with respect to your services.

Improving the Product and Service Offerings. Companies aspiring to wow their customers are also likely to think about what additional services they might enjoy. For example, 'Joe Smith' was in the habit of putting aside a regular sum of money to pay a loan. For a bank issuer, knowing that he no longer will have that expense, you might consider how Joe feels and how his needs might change as a result. You might want to congratulate him and even turn this empathy into a business opportunity.

One of the keys is how you contact Joe. Do you call him, send a letter by email or snail mail? And is there a representative at the company responsible for Joe?

These questions can help you imagine new product and service offerings and how they relate to what you know about your customers.

Streamline Processes and Reinvent Business Models. The answers to these questions could lead to a variety of business models, with their appropriate data products, data-driven services, and related equipment. For example, the process of congratulating Joe can be automatically done with an email, letter or SMS. Alternatively, it can be an internal message to Joe’s service representative. A third approach could be that an investment or savings salesperson could initiate a call, congratulating Joe and inviting him to explore specialized products.

Use APIs to Integrate Enterprise and New Applications. API technology offers a quick and effective way to give your stakeholders within the organization, your partners, and your customers access to helpful data and enable them to use it for desired business processes. It is non-invasive and requires zero changes to the enterprise applications from which the data and processes are retrieved. It is standard, allowing the data to integrate with mobile, web and cloud applications. It is secure, limiting the data and process exposure to exactly the desired output. It can be done automatically, allowing a system to be exposed and integrated into a new application in hours and days, not months and years.

Hans Otharsson is COO OpenLegacy.