Towards a new API driven Economy
We have all heard of Application Programming Interfaces (API). They are one of the most talked about things in all tech magazines today. In short an API is a set of routine protocols and tools for building software applications. So, think of an API being a series of Lego blocks that a good programmer can put together to build something unique.
APIs were and are still meant for developers only. But the overall implications of APIs have changed over the years as they have emerged as uber-strong components of business model drivers and have entered the realm of boardroom discussions.
What the API revolution really means
API’s have a single objective — Fast, seamless integration across any sphere of Business. As per a Deloitte report, more than 10,000 APIs have been published till date and the number is all geared to skyrocket. Apart from high-tech, APIs have been adopted by a varied spectrum of industries ranging from telecommunications to media, finance to tourism. In terms of communication, Government departments are making data available seamlessly through APIs related to a varied range of subjects like Food, Crime, Public Works, etc.
But where will all this lead?
The answer is simple – an informed economy, i.e., an ecosystem, where the latest information is available to you at a single click of a touchscreen button. What we are seeing in the API revolution is a democratization of every industry that is coming under purview. Data that would have been hard to access earlier are now made readily available through APIs. So if you are building a healthcare marketplace, you can easily connect it to the US Food and Drug Administration’s open FDA API Programme to make all regulations available to your consumer.
This is symbiosis at its best.
A similar push is evident in Financial Services as well, where through APIs several players are exploring the options of open banking and unbundling of payments, credit, investment, loyalty and loan services.
The other major disruption has been the act of opening up doors for outside developers to contribute and use this information. One of the marked impacts of this has been in the travel industry, where companies like Expedia, British Airways, TripIT and others have opened up their APIs for outside developers to build and integrate their services on top of these. The result is better apps, better services and easier access to information.
The technology team that runs the revolution
What has changed in the process of building up to the API revolution is the way the technology teams manage the entire API management process.
For example, currently most technology teams in organizations are investing in API management backbone to manage speed and quality. As a consequence, they have now developed platforms that can be used to create, govern and deploy APIs and at the same time market, monetize and support assets.
The API revolution has till now been major breakthrough in creating an ever connected always-informed world that we are going to see in the future. And the implication of it in the upcoming Internet of Things (IoT) is only going to be disruptive.