Digital transformation is a great opportunity for the businesses to replace the old models with modernized ones, helping them conquer new global markets. Keeping efficiency, productivity and agility with the help of such digital strategies has become critical for all kinds of organizations. That’s a reason to say that an essential aspect of digital transformation is the use of Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). In this article, we’ll explain the core advantages of APIs which contribute for the better business processes and progress.
What is actually API?
As Gartner says – APIs are the basis of every digital strategy. An API defines in what way the software components interact with one another, what data format is used, allowable usage and other parameters. Two of the most common use cases are data and functionality sharing. For example, OAuth provides websites with a way to encourage users sign-up without making them go through a registration process.
According to Axway, APIs are a simple concept: they connect data to create new digital experiences. Basically, APIs allow you to integrate systems and devices – both internally and externally. This is a key element of any digital transformation. For example: you can reach customers based on their location, collect data to improve your services, and perform real-time updates. You can create new combinations of seemingly incompatible devices, such as water heaters, thermostats, and smart phones, and turn them into brand new products, services, and data sources. Those appliances by themselves do not communicate, and this this is where APIs act as the mechanism to facilitate data interactions.
The role of API in the Digital transformation:
APIs are critical to any digital transformation. They can change the entire process of creation new business models. By using APIs there is much more agile development process. Besides, there is more speed, more flexibility and more backend services. What’s important for a business is not simply having a good idea. What is critical, is how agilely the company can adapt that service to changing consumer preferences. A new service can change as it is being developed, and it can change even after it is in the market, thanks to APIs.
We like to talk about APIs in plural, because you can do great things when you integrate several. With connected APIs, you can automate processes, and reduce labour intensive which results in speed and convenience.
The great thing about APIs is that they can be published to a community of external developers. Public transportation companies, for example, can share their schedules with external parties (Google Maps, and many others) through an API, so that their own riders are ultimately better served. Technically, this information can be combined with other information that is accessible through APIs, about restaurants, weather, sport events, and museums to create entirely new value added services. Security is an important consideration, as not everybody and everything should be able to access all APIs. Thanks to solid Identity and Access policies, your enterprise internal systems and processes can be fully safe and secure.
When connected to devices, APIs can produce valuable data streams that you want to be stored, in a way that they are easily accessible and transportable. Storing your data in the cloud will relieve your staff from having to manage basic infrastructure.
The use of API also creates seamless user experience for your customers. It makes it possible for your services to be easily accessible on channels that your customers usually interact with, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, chatbots, virtual reality or anything with an interface. The API management solution makes your APIs highly visible and consumable and allows your customers to access your services anywhere and at any time.
The success of the digital transformation depends on continuous evolution. And the driving mechanism behind the continuous change is using a smart API strategy. Since software drives the progress of every business, APIs have become both engines of innovation and the source of competitive advantage, as well. They enable the business to offer new products, better customer experiences, and more efficient business processes.
If you are curious to get to know about a certain API use case, check out PATECCO previous article about FIM Query Service.