Businesses, Hit Home Run with APIs

By CIOReview | Tuesday, January 17, 2017
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It was a word from developer’s jargon. However, with the advancement of internet technologies, the enterprises have begun acknowledging the growth potential held by APIs in terms of harnessing and offering functionalities of powerful applications. It will be an awakening call for companies who are reluctant or ignorant of API’s strategic value in business development opportunities.

Why API?

Embracing the API movement is the most prudent decision in today’s business environment. Skyrocketing cost of application development, the dearth of proficient developers, and cumbersome process of incorporating new features without disrupting the application framework impel the cost-conscious enterprises to search other viable options. In this situation, API emerges as the best option not only due its capability to address previously stated challenges but also its potential to open up new revenue generation avenues. For an organization acting as an API user or an API provider, will be helpful to undertake gamut of activities that range from business development to customer intent data. It will not be audacious to compare a company without API strategy with an automobile less of fuel.

Surprisingly, startups are at the forefront of unleashing the potential of API, but large organizations have been laggards in following the trend. TweetDeck used Twitter’s APIs to allow Twitter users manage multiple accounts simultaneously, so Twitter could usher into new era of growth as TweetDeck enabled the internet natives to use the micro-messaging platform optimally. The micro-blogging company also gained market knowledge that eventually helped it to refine its user interface. Another leading example is Salesforce.com. The CRM platform gains its 60 percent of traffic from APIs. The two use cases highlight how APIs have created win-win situation for companies, third party solution providers, and the users.

Need for a Strategy to Exploit API:

Of late, think tanks in many companies have been exploring ways to leverage API. Following guidelines would prove helpful while chalking out API plan:

a. Determine the crucial feature of your service that would add value to user’s activities

Companies should discern the most significant offering among its extensive range of solutions and services. Though a company might have offered in different market verticals, all the offerings fail to hold equal marketability. For example, Google realized quickly that Google Maps would be of great significance in ascertaining the location of businesses. The Mountain View giant was quick to understand the advantage of Maps over its search functionality.

b. Explore the Potential Customers and Means to Reach Them

Business decision makers need to perform usability test of their key offering and find ways to engage with the customers. For example, business heads of Google zeroed in on real estate companies as potential users of Google Maps.

The decision makers should prioritize the business goals in accordance with revenue targets or other business requirements. The goals may vary, however the following themes will remain unaltered.

a. Product/Service Delivery: The captain of the company should decide on the sole aim of making API available. The firm can reach more customers through API.
b. Partnerships: Partnering with other companies or service providers for making API available to more uses can multiply the means to reach the customers.
c. Data Aggregation: APIs can aggregate data and bestow the companies with rich customer insights.

The benefits of leveraging API technology are enormous. APIs empower the businesses to release data and services in profound ways and engage with customers proximately. As API provides a user interface, the ease of leveraging extensive suite of functionalities and services creates a great user experience and a revenue stream.

Businesses need to shed their conventional thinking to reap rewards from cutting-edge API technology. APIs are playing key role in delivering functionalities and services to wide audience. Hence, the business honchos must swing into action to exploit API now.