How APIs Help Cross-Industry Businesses
A new imperative is facing businesses: ensuring agility in their organisations so that they are ready for the future. How to implement APIs and why?
Digital engagement is a key component of how we interact with customers and conduct business. This change is reflected in IT departments’ increasing need to achieve more with less and do it faster.
2020’s global crisis underlined these cross-industry challenges, forcing companies-particularly IT teams–to collaborate and innovate to survive. Organisations must be agile and adaptable to new situations and future opportunities. There is an industry-wide solution to gaining this agility: APIs. Companies with an API-led infrastructure had the advantage of being able to access multiple sources of data within a modular system, and adapt to changes in customer demand.
This blog will examine how APIs are digitally changing the business world. We’ll also discuss what your business can do with API-led integration to help prepare for future crises.
APIs have many operational requirements
IT teams have struggled in the past with data integration and speed of delivery. These operational problems were only made worse by the pandemic. Mule Soft’s 2021 Connection Benchmark Report shows that only 37% of respondents claimed that IT had met all project requirements in 2020.
Organisations also tend to pull large amounts of their data from isolated sources within their company, making it difficult to integrate end user experiences across all channels. Only 18% of organisations currently claim this critical capability. Relying on legacy systems or point-to-point connectivity can make it difficult for a company to adapt to a crisis and make improvements to its IT infrastructure.
It can also be very expensive. It’s also expensive. On average, 85% IT spend goes into legacy technology and non-cloud technologies. The average enterprise spends $3.5million annually on IT labor for custom integrated projects. Businesses that fail to launch digital transformation now will face financial consequences. 77% of respondents to the Connectivity Report said that failing digital transformation would impact their revenue in 2021 or 2022.
The digital divide that existed between agile and API-enabled companies and those that were still struggling to adapt to the times was evident when the pandemic broke out. These companies utilised cross-silo data landscapes in order to facilitate project teams, foster collaboration and respond to changing customer and employee needs. On the other hand, companies at the beginning of digital transformation were faced with the challenge of innovating within the limitations of their legacy platforms and data silos. Both cases revealed the dual imperative of agility as well as real-time data in this global crisis.
API-led innovation and strategies
App programming interfaces (APIs), which allow enterprises to access data in real time, enable them to be technically agile. APIs can be leveraged by financial service organisations to increase productivity (60%), self-service (47%), or innovation (47%).
APIs’ power lies in their reusability and the connectivity they provide. API-led infrastructure allows for a single, unified data landscape that is structured with clear access and governance. Developers can also reconfigure system components rather than redeveloping or creating expensive custom builds. This is crucial for project efficiency and speedy delivery, as 80% of IT projects use the same 20% of data.
APIs allow for both internal as well as external systems to collaborate by making data available and usable throughout an organization. The first step to implement API-led integration is to determine the company’s data access level. This allows users to have the same access to the data. This often means replacing an ERP system with an API layer that contains core reusable processes that all future projects can use.
A well-established API strategy can be a great tool for speeding up projects and increasing efficiency. It supports reconfigurable systems architecture and delivers real-time information to teams. To ensure security and reusability, however, an API strategy for a company should be synonymous to its data strategy. Application networks provide a framework to help you think about the data and functionality that you need at every stage of development in a consistent and repeatable way.
Tools to ensure the future
Future-ready is the ability to react to any change, no matter how large or small, in today’s globalised world. Each CEO and CIO should have a post COVID assessment to ensure that their IT infrastructure is able to respond to changes. Companies across industries can use APIs to increase system flexibility and adaptability when transitioning to a digital-first business strategy.
Mule Soft, an API-based platform, offers robust solutions to the digital transformation that businesses require right now. It eliminates data silos and emphasises cloud-based architecture. It also allows for connectivity as well as reusability. MuleSoft is a platform that combines integration, connectivity and API management. Mule Soft is a leader in integration technology and offers valuable insight on API-led thinking.