The key to digital transformation is through APIs (Application Program Interface). APIs make it possible for developers to connect the experiences with the apps we use every day and unlock the value of an organization’s data and assets. They are the fundamental elements of the leading trends in digital space comprising of mobile, social and cloud. It is imperative for a business to understand the potential of APIs and how it can be leveraged innovatively to build competitive advantage over other businesses.
What is an API?
A quick google search will give you this definition – API is a set of functions and procedures that allow the creation of applications which access the features or data of an operating system, application, or another service.
In simple words, an API is an interface used by a software system to interact with another software system. In a technical sense, API is an appliance that enables an application to connect with another application to use its capabilities or features. Everyday applications like Facebook and Twitter have APIs enabling access from a different application like Instagram or a mobile game application.
Managing these APIs securely and effectively has become so vital that we have big players like Microsoft, IBM, and CA launching their own products for API management. We also have players like Apigee and Mashery focused only on API Management solutions.
API fueling Digital Transformation
APIs integrate mobile applications, platforms, external stakeholders, and IOT with enterprise data. They enable a high level of agility and integration required for the digital transformation. With the right APIs put to use, a business can realize amazing benefits.
Enhanced Customer Engagement
Walgreens, with the help of APIs, opened up its photo printing to its customers allowing them to use their phones, Facebook and/or Instagram account to print photos. This resulted in enhanced customer engagement across their retail outlets and a considerable increase in revenue.
Enhanced Products & Solution
Citi Bank has launched its Citi Mobile Challenge, a platform where it invites developers across the globe to leverage its exposed APIs to create innovative solutions.
Enhanced Partner Integration
Nike+, a software solution from Nike, currently provides RESTful API and iOS/Android SDKs to its partners enabling integration to their applications faster and easier through Nike’s developer portal.
Enhanced Omni-Channel Experience
APIs offers high level of integration which connects all channels to render consistent customer experience
The Secret Ingredient to the digital soup
In conclusion, APIs are the special ingredient on the digital journey which enables an organization to evolve and innovate quicker staying ahead of its competition. APIs make the businesses agile by opening up to the wider developer ecosystem leveraging their expertise to improvise products and solutions.