Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) connect your business processes, services, content, and data to your partners, customers, and internal teams in an easy and secure way. In other words, API is a digital glue and the foundation of the digital economy. Thus, APIs have become the de facto standard for organizations to exchange data with their entire ecosystem. This article discusses why a robust API infrastructure will give your digital transformation strategy an edge.
Where do APIs fit in the digital value chain?
The digital value chain is more than the technology itself. Using this term means that we use new, modern digital technology to enable the transformation of traditional businesses, business processes, and create innovation.
As the number of innovative startups is growing quickly, it’s essential to have a digital transformation strategy that can help to defeat their conquering.
APIs are crucial participants in the digital value chain. APIs enable connection with your entire network, simplify business processes and operations, allow you to share data in real-time, and innovate if necessary.
As the number of devices that you need to connect with is growing (just think of all the IoT devices you will likely communicate with in the future) you need a solution that operates efficiently with great agility, flexibility, and scalability. When your API has reached the point of expanding beyond its original intent and capacity, it can be easily adjusted with versioning.
API's role in your digital transformation strategy
Chief Digital Officers are focusing on creating digital transformation strategies that can help enterprises to strengthen their position in the market. APIs can help you to accelerate the speed of your digital transformation by enabling innovation. If you are seeking to create new digital platforms, digital business models, or digital business processes, APIs will make your life a lot easier. Digital transformation is all about gaining a competitive edge, and APIs are important building blocks of the differentiation initiative.
Planning to utilize a solid API infrastructure in your operations will evolve your operations quickly. You will be able to improve connectivity through external and internal APIs. APIs are easy to use. They have a short development lifecycle and time to production compared to complex integrations. Through APIs, you can allow easy access to your existing ecosystem and onboard new partners fast.
Importantly, APIs help to overcome the burden of operating on legacy systems. Scrapping these systems entirely is an overwhelming task that is not only time-consuming but also extremely expensive. With an API layer, these core systems can be utilized better, and they will become capable of sharing data in real time.
What are the benefits of outsourcing API Management?
Outsourcing your API Management and hosting it in the cloud have many benefits. One of these is the faster time-to-production that will enable you to bring new products and processes to the market faster. In case your business requirements change, your integration partner will take care of versioning the API to meet your needs. Additionally, it is a secure option for ensuring that you have full control over what information your partners can see. When you outsource API management, your APIs come with dedicated support and proactive alerting, as well as digital KPIs operated by a robust cloud-based integration platform as a service.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published in 2018. It was updated on March 2nd, 2023, to reflect the most current information. Andrei Radchenko contributed to this story.