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Gartner Symposium/ITxpo, Living in an API Economy

Why You Should Be Paying Attention to Application Program Interfaces (APIs)

Sandeep Khare's avatar

By: Sandeep Khare

December 22, 2015 | Case Management/BPM

This year while at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo in Orlando, I attended an insightful session on the API economy by the Gartner analyst and Research VP, Paolo Malinverno. The session was an eye opener for me as Paolo went into the details of how the APIs are bringing radical changes to the traditional development approach and have opened up a whole new economy within the larger IT landscape. API economy in short means the way APIs can positively affect an organization’s profitability. Companies are now beginning to quantify the impact of APIs on their bottom line.

APIs Disrupting the Traditional Business Model

The rapid proliferation of APIs is forcing companies to rethink their approach on how they build or embed new functionalities into their products. APIs have opened up a much faster and a better way to build features and enhance the overall user experience. For example, if you want to embed maps into your application, you can easily embed Google Maps by using their public API without having to reinvent the wheel. This drastically cuts development costs.

I believe the API economy is like a disruptive force that will radically alter old business models –in some form it is already doing that. Now you can be a company, which just builds and sells APIs that allow customers to integrate their custom products with apps like Dropbox, SharePoint, DocuSign, and the like. Organizations like Amazon, Apple and Microsoft are making APIs a cornerstone of the platforms and services they provide to their customers. To stay competitive, organizations should look into ways to leverage the power of APIs. That starts first by looking inwards and see what services, data or features that you can extend to your customers by building APIs for them. Basically, your customers shouldn’t have to reach out to your IT for every capability. Make their life as easy as possible by improving their ability to perform their job in an efficient and effective manner.

Treat APIs Like a Product

If you are a vendor providing IT products and services to your customers, you may be able to significantly bring down the cost of those offerings by taking the API approach. For example, you can build your own public APIs that allow other 3rd party apps to communicate with your products or enable your products to interface with APIs developed by other companies so as to be able to exchange data or embed features without having to build the functionalities from scratch.

It’s likely that in the coming years, dominant players in the software industry will be those who are able to conceptualize, design, develop and deliver their APIs portfolio as a product and not just as an add-on component. In today’s device driven environment (work and personal), customers expect a seamless cross-platform experience, faster delivery of products and features, and the ability to quickly connect with relevant data. APIs can help you achieve that in a much shorter timeframe and cost.

Serve the Forgotten Customer

At MicroPact, our strategy with the entellitrak platform is to serve the forgotten customer – the developers. Providing a robust set of static and dynamic APIs is part of that strategy. entellitrak not only comes with its own APIs but also has the ability to consume externally available APIs – to take advantage of the API economy.  Combining APIs with entellitrak’s flexible, open architecture based low-code development platform not only allows developers to easily connect with different systems, it further accelerates the rapid, agile development process.

About the Author

Sandeep Khare worked at MicroPact from 2003-2016, most recently in the Marketing department.