API Is The Magic Bullet To Be Digital-Ready

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API is forming new possibilities in the age of digitalisation, offering advanced functionalities to businesses of all sizes

For organisations embracing digital transformation to develop connected experiences to satisfy growing customer expectations, they need resources and tools that are flexible and efficient to integrate systems and unify data. And Application Programming Interface (API), without a doubt, is the solution. Over 80 per cent of IT specialists consider API integration critical to their business. It’s a set of mechanisms by which one application, or a component, interacts with others.

Of late, in the technology industry, APIs are much talked about as businesses transform into connected enterprises. Digitalisation initiatives are taken up across the board — from customer management to the supply chain.

APIs have become a standardised machine-readable mechanism for connecting partners and a growing market for API startups.

Companies like Uber and Airbnb use APIs throughout their products to achieve an amazing customer experience while scaling fast. They are built on the foundation of API.

To get it up to speed, Uber uses Amazon Web Services to operate without disruptions, uses Google Maps to help passengers and drivers find each other, and Twilio (the messaging platform) ensures you get that notification right when your driver arrives.

With SendGrid APIs, Uber can send out emails and receipts for passengers with an email service.

Today, Uber API represents a full-featured platform including car ordering, fair price estimate calculation, ride time estimate, trip history, a destination address, and so on.

Enabling change for large enterprises, APIs are increasingly used to create software applications, enabling communication between applications or software. It reduces both development time and cost while mitigating the risk of errors.

Earlier, APIs were used to develop mobile applications to meet the constant demand of launching applications into the market. Telecom companies use APIs to grow their agility and speed and simplify delivering services through mobile networks and the web. Driven by API, the sector has shifted from hardware to software space.

Advanced functionalities

Now, the use of API is on the rise across industries, as it offers advanced functionalities to businesses of all sizes.

Building new customer experiences to cater to various devices and platforms is a significant driver for API adoption. Organisations strive to create 360-degree customer experiences – experiences that cater to desktops, smartphones, IoT devices, and physical assets. While all these enable a seamless experience, it requires integration to connect. Addressing multi-platform requirements, APIs make it all possible, enabling smooth user interfaces and end-to-end workflow automation.

It’s forming new possibilities in the age of digitalisation – road sensors, machine data, or containers in shipping can transfer data and communicate with the external world via APIs. Desktops can be interlaced into a communicating IT infrastructure, and external partners can be integrated through APIs.

APIs have a more critical role in digital transformation. They can change the entire process of creation. By using APIs, organisations can have a much more agile development process – more speed, flexibility, and back-end services.

Benefits are limitless

Organisations that implement and leverage APIs can accelerate the development cycle, simplify communication between applications and services, and allow automation. It can also foster experimentation and innovation due to low cost and ease of use, and collaboration with third parties as an easy interface between applications inside and outside the network.

Now you might ask, how is it possible to collect all data and use it from different sources, through different connections? API integration does that.

API integration connects applications through their APIs for executing a joint function. A link gets created through the API layer of each application to communicate with one another. Applications that are connected represent the most conversant data while providing data integrity.

It won’t be a stretch to say APIs use cases and benefits are limitless. Developers can quickly create new digital solutions from the existing capabilities rather than from scratch. APIs can run between databases, applications, and devices, making it convenient for businesses to unlock data inside existing systems and link it to other application systems. It also helps firms respond fast to changing market conditions, technology disruption, and business demands.

Equally, it’s critical for organisations that leverage APIs to advance their digital transformation initiatives to secure them. They can do so by controlling who accesses APIs, monitoring and even managing how APIs are employed, deploying functionality that can spot questionable behaviour and otherwise make monitoring data actionable, and more.

While APIs fuel new digital transformations across enterprises, bridging customer needs and powering innovative customer experiences, they hide complexity in the back-end.

With APIs, smart processes and smart machines can come together. Ultimately, if companies can merge successfully, they will get a competitive advantage in the digital economy.

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