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Why businesses need long term API strategies


Why businesses need long term API strategies

Every now and then we hear term APIs. In brief, API (Application Programming Interface) are set of specifications (contracts). APIs help diverse platforms, applications and systems to talk to each other. 

We are practically living in a world of API economy. Things are changing and changing pretty fast. Bandwidth has become commodity. Proof is how Reliance JIO is disrupting Indian telecom market by offering cheap data. Faster bandwidth causing internet based businesses to flourish. Amazon Web Services, Facebook, Google, Salesforce, Twitter and other companies have APIs available.
 

In this post, we will look at why (?) organizations need to look at long term API strategies for their businesses.

APIs Encourage Standardization

APIs are generally consumed by developers or internal IT organizations who need to access data to build better products. Standardization minimizes learning curve for APIs. At the same time standardized APIs give external customers consistent way to access internal data. 

Below are few popular style guidelines to standardize API design,
  1. Microsoft REST API Guidelines
  2. Google API Design Guide
  3. PayPal API Style Guide
  4. API Stylebook website

APIs Encourage Innovation

In today's global and agile economies, it is required to deliver products faster with accelerated development cycle. Using older approach that tightly couples different features into a big product is not going to time the market. To deliver software products faster and to support innovative business models, it is imperative to integrate different software components as quickly as possible. This is only possible if businesses encourage and deliver APIs for internal as well as external consumption.

APIs promote platformication and collaboration

Platformication is plug and play of business models and allows producers & consumers to create and share value. (Ref: platformed.info).
The key advantage is that APIs help businesses to collaborate and thrive with external eco-system. API help orgranizations to share data not only with internal consumers but external as well. Yes, it is possible to share data internally with files, linking and shared-memory models but things have changed. Internet or network drives information sharing in today's world.

What needs to be done?

API-first approach is must and suited for cloud development. Organization adopting to cloud strategy must look at their API strategy as well. API-first helps with early customer conversation, quick mock-ups and early feedback. It also helps to open new monetization streams along with existing ones.

In summary:

API allows orgranizations to innovate and quickly deliver on new business models and scale fast. They also allow organizations to quickly explore new revenue streams.

By Mandar Pise

Opinions expressed by techsutram contributors are their own.

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