The Value of Internal API for Enterprises

IT news
  • API Adoption Patterns for Enterprises
  • Why start from Internal Adoption
  • How APIs can Extend the Value of Existing Apps
  • Lifecycle of API

As we all know APIs bring on the promise of extending the reach of your business. It enables companies to reach consumers in new ways. With the power of API, enterprises can leverage this whole external community of developers, partners, mobile clients, and so forth. 

APIs enable companies to get into Cloud, on multiple mobile platforms and get to the IoT with comparatively minimum budget and in less time. But how would your company get this external reach if your internal software infrastructure is not in order?

When we speak with enterprise reps about API development, they all say they need it, but they also consider themselves not mature enough to have an API. Do they?

API Adoption Patterns for Enterprises

There are four main adoption patterns:

  • Internal
  • Mobile
  • Partner
  • External Innovation (Public)

Why start from Internal Adoption

The matter of fact that Enterprises can’t move forward into Partner or Public adoption of API without getting things done internally. This is because of a whole bunch of security reasons, private information concerns, and technical problems like legacy codebase.  

A majority is starting with the adoption of APIs internally. It starts from a particular Line of Business as a case study. Then internal adoption moves to other LoBs and 3rd party APIs. 

As larger companies start acquiring businesses, they’re leveraging APIs as a way to make that acquisition smoother. API helps the transition of new companies under the command of an Enterprise.

How APIs can Extend the Value of Existing Apps

In essence, today API is a feature of an existing product or application. It is something that adds value. Firstly, thanks to the straightforward adoption process. Secondly, because of better steering potential and adaptability.

The route is pretty simple:

  1. Transform and Secure Apps – From SOAP to REST mobile-optimized architecture; 
  2. Publish transformed apps with APIs – Gather the analytics they provide and upgrades apps further based on the data, not an assumption;
  3. Wait for adoption – cover it with the documentation for developers in order as early adopters;
  4. Monetize from new consumers.

Lifecycle of API

If you take an API-first approach, you should have an understanding of the API’s lifecycle:

  • Plan phase – this is where the company determines what your product is going to be, what capabilities you’ll provide\expose outward through API. It includes business model, pricing, licensing, terms, etc;
  • Building phase – this is where the development process starts. Frameworks, parts, unifications, re-factoring, adoption of new microservices is going to happen here. This is where we’ll connect new software to the existing infrastructure of your company;
  • Run & Share phase – on this stage enterprises share API. Doesn’t matter is the API is for internal use or external, there is a sharing phase. You can move your employees to the new software or make public betas, and then launch a campaign. You just need to share to get adoption and statistics.
  • Analysis phase – this is the last point on the API lifecycle. From here you’ll start to enhance the existing products, hone it and make the new cycle.

There are individual tools that help during each phase of the lifecycle. For example, there’s Lifecycle Management Tools for Build & Plan phases; Gateway tools for Run phase; and a Developer Portal for Sharing phase.

The Value of APIs for Organisations

First of all, is to make money. Organizations like eBay get a lot of transactional value and get a lot of revenue from their API. This is because the API serves as an aggregator of transaction volume from a myriad of different sources. For example, 60% of all listings on eBay added via their APIs.

Other enterprises are saving money. There are plenty of use cases of how organizations saving by using Amazon web services. For example, SmugMug saves >$500k /year with Amazon S3 Storage.

You can also build a brand with the power of API. Companies like Google and Facebook develop open platforms to drive new consumers and share their name. Open products allow external developers to build new features and thus popularize the brand. Google Maps get 300% growth comparing to 20% MapQuest.

Organizations like Salesforce have become very successful thanks to APIs. Salesforce gets over 50% of transactions through its API. This is how now numerous companies have embedded Salesforce processes into their internal workflow.  

This just three main examples of how you can make and save money, build brand awareness through the development of internal API and opening it to the world.

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