Digital infrastructure today consists of the cloud, applications (web- or mobile-based) and application program interfaces (APIs). These components work together to deliver a seamless user experience while enabling businesses to establish their presence across platforms and increase the reach of their business.
Why businesses need APIs
APIs are important tools that enable open communication between disparate software programs. This helps to break down the data silos which in turn facilitates quick sharing of data and information. The biggest advantage of using APIs is, therefore, speeding up the interaction and communication between various components of the digital infrastructure. This enables businesses to offer a seamless user experience to their customers. Further, APIs help businesses improve operational efficiency while reducing costs.
APIs allow businesses to scale operations while making it easier to integrate the backend data and applications. They also facilitate partnerships between businesses which enables them to increase revenues. As a result, more and more digital businesses are now using numerous APIs for enhanced user engagement and opening up new revenue generation streams in markets they may have never explored before. It is estimated that at present there are nearly 15,000 public APIs and this number is likely to swell by four times in the near future.
Devise an API strategy
To maximize the benefits from APIs and promote innovation for better collaboration, a business must carefully craft an API strategy that consists of both private and public APIs. While public APIs can help businesses to enhance customer engagement, private APIs can help streamline operations and improve customer service. That said, crafting an efficient and effective API strategy is an onerous task. There are multiple challenges that businesses must overcome in order to arrive at a truly beneficial API strategy.
One of the biggest challenges businesses face while creating an API strategy is the piling up of redundant and legacy technologies that lose their efficiency as they age. When such businesses try to add the latest software or APIs, they are required to incur additional costs and efforts. Another challenge is the lack of availability of tools that can help businesses design, test, and monitor the APIs. That said, businesses need not create APIs themselves. They can instead look for API-first vendors to develop the APIs based on their unique business needs.
In today’s API economy, businesses must take advantage of the opportunities that APIs help open in order to foster innovation and build on the business growth while enhancing customer engagement to build meaningful relationships with their customers.
The article has been written by Neetu Katyal, Content and Marketing Consultant
She can be reached on LinkedIn.