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When you enter a restaurant, you’re greeted with a waiter who handles your entire dining experience — from providing the menu, to serving the food and answering your request to pay the bill. The waiter is the interface between you and the services of the restaurant, allowing you to interact with the business while shielding you from the complexity of what’s going on behind the scenes. This is the function of APIs.
Application programming interfaces (APIs) are a set of functions and procedures allowing for the creation of applications that access data and features of other operating systems. In short, API isn’t a database or server, but the code that controls the access point for the server. The goal is to exchange standardized data between different web services.
APIs can translate text, handle business transactions, retrieve banking data and has become a notable tool for CIOs moving toward digital transformation. With its ability to handle a variety of transactions and evolve varying processes, APIs are critical to business models. CIOs are responsible for examining its extensive benefits and capabilities to determine how it can contribute to the business.
WHY THIS SOFTWARE-TO-SOFTWARE INTERFACE IS IMPORTANT TO BUSINESSES
Some may ask, “what's the deal with APIs?” This tool allows two applications to exchange data and information with each other. APIs act as a service to web developers, allowing for two different programs to communicate with each other. This allows for greater and faster innovation in modern markets. The benefits are simple: companies can create better-developed products to stand out from their competitors all while decreasing costs and increasing efficiency.
We typically rely on APIs without knowing we’re doing so. Every sector and industry can benefit from the use of APIs in some way, such as:
- In the banking and finance industry, this technology has helped financial institutions shift to mobile apps, introduce a digital form of payment, and implement advanced analytics to detect potential fraud.
- The retail industry has gained momentum with online shopping and APIs can show retailers market trends to be able to align products accordingly. Tracking inventory, shipments and point-of-sale terminals are also capabilities of APIs.
- Significant changes in the healthcare industry can be improved by API technology alongside previous tests, vaccines, and other records for patients. This tool can streamline internal operations to ensure a hospital is meeting requirements and serving patients well.
APIs can serve a greater purpose to organizations while being closely monitored to avoid negative impacts. This type of development is vital to any industry as we move to a fully digital world every day.
THE FUTURE OF APIs
There’s potential to positively transform businesses by establishing new lines of revenue and enhancing overall digitalization. Companies can leverage APIs to create systems without starting from scratch. As there are estimated to be over 20,000 public APIs and more than a million private ones, this tool will continue to develop with the number projected to quadruple in the years ahead.
The new wave of companies’ approaches to API is known as API-First. This tactic allows developers to add external products to applications, rather than manually building the services into the applications. This allows for increased efficiency and an advantage to companies striving to share the functionality for public use. API-First allows businesses to use the data created by one customer to improve for the next, ultimately attracting more customers. With API solutions providing meaningful data and intelligent insights, businesses can increase revenue, effectiveness, and innovation.
LAUNCHING APIS FOR YOUR BUSINESS
API solutions allow businesses to compile meaningful data that will provide intelligent insights. This kind of information is specified to your organization and industry, giving you insights to leverage your business toward success. If you haven’t considered integrating APIs into your business operations, now’s the time. Look into unique API solutions that might be beneficial for your business.
API integration platforms will help you find the best solutions for your business operations. Improvado is a notable platform made by marketers, for marketers. IBM API Connect offers a comprehensive management solution for the entirety of your API lifecycle. Oracle API Platform is a design-first approach, offering a collaborative environment for your team. Take time to examine the options and consult with your team to find what will work best for your organization and its goals. No matter the size of your organization or the industry in which you fall, there’s an option for everyone.