Today, tech modernization is no longer an option—enterprises that do not transform will simply not see the light of day. And application programming interfaces (usually shortened to APIs) are proving to be key in supporting the digital transformation efforts of most businesses.
Typically, an API is a software intermediary that allows internal as well as external consumers to access, interact, and extract an enterprise’s functions and data. APIs have become the de facto standard for creating and connecting modern software services.
They link computer systems to each other, and the infrastructure and data that power them—allowing businesses to compete effectively in the digital era.
In this article, we will talk about the following four ways APIs can assist in advancing your digital modernization efforts:
- Increases productivity
- Fuels innovation
- Improves customer experience
- Enhances connectivity and collaboration
Let’s address each of them.
1. Increases productivity
Since the dawn of the new millennium, a wide range of technological breakthroughs has continued to shape our world. Companies have been increasingly adopting innovative technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, and the Internet of Things (IoT), to streamline processes and gain a competitive edge.
However, most of these disruptive technologies are costly or simply out of reach for most enterprises. Therefore, we’ve been seeing API-led integrations in which technology giants create powerful technologies in some domains, and let others leverage that work via APIs.
For example, IBM provides the Watson Speech to Text API, which allows users to harness its advanced AI technology to convert voice into written text easily. With such an API, you can take advantage of useful features from third-party providers and incorporate them into your use case, without bothering to create anything from scratch.
This saves development costs, time, and, most importantly, increases your productivity. Simply, you can use APIs to do more with less.
In fact, according to a recent study that analyzed the state of API integration in 2020, enterprises that adopted APIs realized an increase in productivity of 59%.
Therefore, APIs offer an effective way of realizing your tech modernization aspirations faster and productively—instead of trying to reinvent the wheel.
2. Fuels innovation
Today’s technological landscape is changing at an unprecedented pace. Several technologies, such as the legendary typewriter, which were considered a breakthrough a few decades ago, are now speedily facing extinction. Companies that have managed to sail through, such as Elon Musk’s Tesla, have embraced innovation to drive efficiency, differentiation, and competitiveness.
With APIs, enterprises can supercharge innovation and avoid being left behind in the recent technological advances. These interfaces allow organizations to integrate innovative technologies with fewer resources, adapt to changing market requirements quickly, increase speed-to-market, and wedge new pathways for growth. According to the previously mentioned study, enterprises that adopted APIs realized an increase in innovation of 51%.
Furthermore, the renowned analyst firm, Gartner, emphasizes that APIs are essential in minimizing the friction usually experienced when enterprises implement a ‘bimodal’ IT strategy; that is, where legacy systems are deployed alongside flexible, innovative digital solutions.
The firm explains that APIs can act as the connecting layer between ‘Mode 1’ and ‘Mode 2’, which fills the gap between core data and functionality. As a result, this leads to the creation of more experimental, innovative solutions that can fuel a company’s digital modernization initiatives.
3. Improves customer experience
We’re in the age where the customer is king: they demand top-notch experiences. Since their expectations are continuously evolving in an accelerating race for the most seamless, hyperconnected experience, companies are under unrelenting pressure to match these demands. It’s no surprise that about 57% of customers have stopped purchasing from a company because a rival offered a better experience.
More so, today’s customers are less interested in generic marketing and outreach programs. They are looking for more relevant experiences that uniquely address their needs and wants—rather than a one-size-fits-all solution.
By exposing their data through APIs, enterprises can empower customers to be in charge of their own experiences—resulting in limitless possibilities. With these interfaces, customers can integrate powerful capabilities that resonate with their specific objectives.
Similarly, enterprises can monitor API usage and gain deeper insights into how users interact with their products. With this data, enterprises can strive to improve the customers’ experience, which makes them less likely to move to an alternative offering.
It’s a beneficial and strong proposition, particularly given the fact that about 75% of individuals agree that their company’s use of APIs has greatly improved their customer experience.
4. Enhances connectivity and collaboration
As today’s companies strive to join the tech modernization bandwagon, they’ve built several applications that assist them in engaging with employees, customers, and partners. It’s approximated that today’s average company has deployed 464 custom applications. New applications are getting their way into enterprises at unprecedented rates.
Unfortunately, this often results in a complicated network of technologies. While every individual app can be suited for its stipulated purpose, the entire network is challenging to integrate, refresh, or adapt. It usually needs considerable effort to implement changes while ensuring the business performance is not affected.
With APIs, you can create interoperable components that allow disparate and siloed applications—such as those for financial operations, customer relationship management (CRM), or communication—to fit together in standardized ways and interact flawlessly.
APIs act as the glue that provides connectivity and collaboration between the different apps. As a c-level executive, you can use them to link previously disjointed systems to a single, configurable platform, ensuring they can share functionalities and data smoothly across the company.
As a result, this enhanced collaboration can deliver integrated customer experiences, optimize impact, and strengthen your digital modernization strategies.
APIs are tools that can create more flexibility and enable your organization to be more responsive to external and internal needs.
Enterprises that require increased productivity, innovation, customer experience, and connectivity have turned to APIs to assist them in gaining a competitive edge in this digital era.
Furthermore, with a platform to manage how to use APIs, such as the Rakuten RapidAPI Enterprise Hub, you can realize the full value of APIs and meet your IT modernization objectives.
So, do you use APIs in your company?
Are there any business benefits you’ve realized from consuming them?
Or, do you have any other comments or questions?
Please post them below.