APIs, or application program interfaces, are vital tools for businesses in all industries. The importance of APIs from a technical standpoint, they allow the capabilities of one computer program to be used by another. They are a means by which two different programs are able to communicate. APIs enable companies to grow their businesses more quickly than ever before, and represent an answer for the organizations that are currently spending more than $590 billion per year integrating disparate systems. Like the Web, which opened up the Internet’s potential, APIs are driving a new wave of innovation centered on sharing services. Organizations in all industries are looking to learn more about APIs and their potential to transform business processes.
The main reason that APIs matter so much in modern markets is that they allow for faster innovation. Barriers to change are reduced and more people can contribute to an organization’s success. They offer two-fold benefits: the company can create better products while standing out from the competition. APIs also make monetization easier. Having a presence on more platforms means that companies can sell more ad space. According to ReadWrite, any service that is transactional or advertising-driven benefits from multiple interfaces. APIs should therefore be implemented for platforms like the iPhone, Facebook, browser extensions and more.
Examples of API Success
To put it simply, APIs allow companies to move into markets they may have never considered. Early adopters may be able to expand revenue by joining forces with other enterprises. There are several examples of companies who deployed APIs effectively. Instead of building its own mapping, payment or communication services, Uber used the best of those programs and connected them all via APIs. And those who witnessed the early days of Twitter will remember that its user interface wasn’t always so intuitive. However, TweetDeck built a better UI on top of the Twitter engine, which led to a more seamless user experience. And a third-party application allowed Google Maps to show real estate locations on a map, leading to an exponential increase in popularity. Years later, Google has expanded API access to Google Maps and several of its other products.
APIs have the potential to transform businesses. Traditional strategies rely on large sales forces, paperwork and other time-consuming, outdated and expensive measures to run their businesses, and the practice is becoming less sustainable all the time. Forward-thinking companies are reducing costs and time spent by “building their solutions with best-of-breed components, which they access via APIs,” according to Forbes. When you consider the Internet of Things, it’s easy to see that the influence of APIs is growing beyond tech-based companies. Organizations should develop product strategy for the internet of devices, and APIs can help them do so effectively.
According to API Academy, there are several reasons why businesses like yours should consider launching APIs. They offer the potential to:
- Increase revenue
- Extend customer reach and value
- Support sales and marketing activities
- Stimulate business and technical innovation
- Ease integration of backend data and applications
In general, APIs offer companies the opportunity to scale, foster innovation and reach a wider audience. As Forbes puts it, “How a business wins or loses is increasingly dependent on how well they connect to external party apps, devices and services.” This is why, no matter your company’s size or industry, it may be time for you to explore APIs and what they can mean for your enterprise.