APIs & Integration Strategy
min of reading
June 23, 2017

What CIOs must know about APIs

Lucas Tempestini
Global Marketing Manager
Developing Marketing Strategies and Communications throughout a very complex global strategy.
More about the author

We’ve already written multiple articles here in the Blog about how APIs are part of our daily routine, from login on websites through our social network profiles, to the color of your house’s lamps depending on your mood.

From the simplest to the most complex integrations, we are surrounded by awesome examples of the API usage, and they are nothing more than interfaces that define how different applications will communicate with one another.

A few years ago, we heard Marc Andreessen, one of the Netscape founders, saying that “Software is eating the world”, and I couldn’t agree more by that time, but nowadays we can say for sure that APIs are eating software. Not so long ago, some companies saw APIs just as a form to integrate partners; then, they were considered fundamental building blocks to create independent application and services, but what about today? APIs are not only “technological” components, part of Development teams’ Daily Scrum Meeting, it is part of the Business agenda, and IT is no longer operational, it is strategic..

From Tech to Trend

As I mentioned above, Marc Andreessen was right, and software has eaten the world, and this has created an increasing demand for digital interaction: if today we rely on software, software also relies on integrations, and those integrations need to be managed. Forrester predicts that, by 2020, companies will invest around US$ 3 billion in API Management, which proves that the API Management will be (if itsn’t already) critical to companies, and at the core of companies’ Digital Transformation strategies is the experience that the user has when interacting with different channels of the company, and the APIs will be responsible to ensure that these experiences are consistent among all those channels.

According to Hamesh Chawla, Zephyr’s Engineering Vice-President

“APIs are changing the game as far as consumer experience goes and are a key integral part of creating customer engagement today”.

A word to the wise is sufficient, its been a while that the user experience based model has piled up spectacular outcomes; APIs must be designed to generate business and exponentially improve the users’ experience. Hamesh Chawla also says:

“This resource is still not being utilized with full potential and enterprises need to pay close attention to it. From a CIO’s strategy point of view, API-driven culture needs to be ingrained in software development practices which will in turn lead to a data-driven thinking of enhancing the customer experience.”.

The recent Apigee purchase by Google, for a bargain of US$ 625 million, shows the growth potential of this industry

APIs’ role in Partners’ Ecosystems

APIs have changed the way companies partner up, they have made integration so simple that is no longer an obstacle or a burden to make the partnership happen.. In this API strategy, some business models exponentially prospered. We’ve seen Marketplaces coming up and delivering value to an entire supply chain: from the Marketplace’s owner, that increases their product portfolio, to the retailer who increases the number of sales through a much larger traffic, to the integrated payment method and to the logistics company that will perform the delivery.

The simpler integration enables to create business models based on scaling your integrations. For that reason, a strategy of APIs exposed to partners also allows to explore new channels, including the ones never imagined before, which creates new applications relying on your APIs, then addnew value propositions to your offer, creating engagement from both the end users and the developers. Besides, it allows your team to focus on developing services solely related to your core offer..

APIs accelerating New Digital Experiences

And, if in the center of all this transformation is the user experience, allying APIs with your customers’ database enables you to deliver extremely personalized experiences, and this allows to nurture new ideas for better quality services and products focused on each customer’s specific needs. It’s worth to remember that the line between “content personalization” and “stalking” is really thin, and you need to be very careful with the customer’s privacy.

Besides nurturing a partners’ ecosystem, an API strategy also improves deliverability of new products and services by internal teams. In addition, integration through APIs ensures that all the interactions can run independent of platforms, devices or channels, keeping consistency in all the journey’s steps, enabling Omnichannel strategies.

Why Manage your APIs?

Just like all the business models, performance metrics and indicators are fundamental to measure the success of your strategies, and that’s why having managed APIs is essential to drive business decisions.

While more systems expose APIs, and those integrations create complex and mission critical solutions, managing your APIs mitigates risks on updating and changing the APIs’ structures, and consequently ensures that the evolutions of these APIs do not interfere in solutions.

The API management platforms, such as Sensedia API Platform, allows you to view the consumption data, help Developers Onboarding, create transformations that make integrations simpler, govern and manage the entire API lifecycle, and add an extra security layer in the access of your data.

Do you want to know more about how Sensedia API Platform enables your digital strategies? Chat with one of our experts.

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