Defining The Value That APIs Deliver To Your API Ecosystem

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Sun coming through clouds: API ecosystem

It’s the eternal struggle for any business to add more value while keeping costs down. Luckily, modern business technology makes this a little easier with the employment of the right API. An API ecosystem revolves around software that specializes in linking together incongruent apps, products, and services. The API is more than middleware - it’s grown into an innovative business concept that can transform your business and digital strategy. Read on to learn three distinct ways that an API ecosystem can bring value to you and your business.

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Add Value By Reducing Overall Expenditures

Creating an API-first strategy immediately spares you the costs of building, testing, deploying, and training for new products and services. If another company already has the services you need, you can simply incorporate their expertise into your API ecosystem. An API-first structure is also more flexible in the face of rapid changes within your industry. Scaling up and down becomes easier with the loosely coupled structure of an API.

Finally, an API enables you to connect all of your apps and services into one intuitive interface. This will be easier for your employees and customers to work with, and it will cut down on training and support costs. An example of the API-created interface can be found in some accounting services like Xero or Sage. With the help of open APIs from third-party banks, customers can import their banking information in minutes. This saves the customer time, spares them from bad data caused by human error, and makes the process run smoothly. It also saves the accounting service time that would have been spent on customer support.

Add Value With New Revenue Lines

An API ecosystem can help you package your existing business services into new revenue streams at minimal cost and time expenditure. You can monetize your API without sinking time and money into product teams and development. And with the right API management services, you can deploy that new revenue stream in minutes with no coding expertise on your end.

Google offers a famous example of this with their Google Maps API. Many GPS-based services such as rideshare and navigation companies make use of this AP to aid in developing their own products. The value of this API is apparent on all sides. Google gains value by monetizing their massive worldwide map data. Third party services gain and create value by building off of this data without having to collect and manage it themselves.

There’s another example in the finance industry. TurboTax offers its API to employers when it comes time to create and distribute W-2 tax forms. Employees find they have the ability to import their W-2 to their tax return instantly instead of manually inputting the data.for easy tax filing. Naturally, this requires the employees to file with TurboTax in order to take advantage of this feature. TurboTax gains value by opening up a new stream of customers. Employees of participating businesses can see the value in easy, fast filing of their tax returns.

Add Value With A Sustainable Digital Strategy

Creating an API ecosystem will make you rethink the entire organizational structure of your business. But this is for the better - rapid changes in business technology mean you have to keep pace or sink among the competition. Outdated business technology and structures just don’t bring the value you need.

You want to add some composability to your business architecture. The composable enterprise is one that can pick and choose from the newest and best digital services. They aren’t tied to license agreements or monolithic software suites like the enterprises of yesteryear. Instead, they can swap out or scrap services that don’t bring value to the business without affecting the rest of their products.

APIs make this possible with a loosely coupled integration design. All products and services link to the API instead of each other, and the API serves as a go-between for all. Because of this, adding or removing a program shouldn’t cause errors in the rest of your system. APIs are also designed to work with a variety of programming languages, file types, operating systems, and even legacy programs. This removes much of the barriers to software integration.

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