APIs: The New Digital Business Frontier

by | May 2, 2017

recent article from Gartner highlights the exciting opportunities offered by Application Program Interface (API) implementations to expand both reach and profit, thanks in part to the proliferation of Internet of Things (IoT) devices. APIs are, of course, nothing new in the business world. But before IoT took off, there weren’t nearly as many devices using the Internet to exchange information.

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Businesses can seize opportunities to create, utilize, and integrate digital platforms, including IoT devices, through a concept called microservices: creating multiple communication mechanisms to manage multiple services within a larger platform. Gartner anticipates that over 8.4 billion IoT devices will be active worldwide in 2017, and upwards of 20.4 billion will be in use by 2020.

What are APIs, and what is the API Economy?

According to Webopedia, an API is “a set of routines, protocols, and tools for building software applications.” APIs allow one part of an application to communicate with another, be it on the same system (like a program displaying a data table as a chart), or on a different system (like two servers exchanging information). According to Gartner, the term “API Economy” refers to “a set of business models and channels based on secure access of functionality and exchange of data.” Essentially, the API Economy is the business infrastructure used by devices to communicate with each other.

Expand Your Reach

Thanks to the API Economy, it’s easier for a business to address a larger audience than ever. Since APIs are built to streamline communication between systems, businesses can design and implement APIs that easily integrate with third-party platforms and reach customers in new ways. Regardless of whether an interaction takes place on a computer, tablet, smartphone, smartwatch, or other device, APIs allow your business to communicate with customers.0

APIs can also help speed up time-to-market by better allocating resources and improving internal collaboration. APIs can help your products and services reach customers sooner, giving your business a competitive edge.

Increase Your Profits 

APIs help businesses boost profit margins by streamlining the exchange of information, which both reduces operational expenses and enables faster services. Amazon established a strong relationship between load times and conversion rates, so businesses stand to gain real-world profits by virtue of faster services. Additionally, the customized nature of APIs makes them excellent for tailoring analytics to better suit a business’s needs. APIs can provide a wealth of additional information about how customers utilize your services.

It’s important to keep a watchful eye on how well the API and hosting platforms are performing; simply implementing an API is not a magical solution. A proactive monitoring service can provide businesses with the information necessary to address performance-related issues before they become major problems.

Whether your business is already using API microservices or taking them under consideration, the experts at Apica are ready to help keep your implementations running smooth. Investing in API testing can help boost internal and customer confidence in your microservices, making sure each launch and update works as envisioned. Contact us today.

Apica Product Team