As a result of our latest API engagements and interviews with key stakeholders in different organizations, we have identified several entry points to API adoption. These entry points can serve you to open up discussion about why an API is needed and how it fits in your company’s overall strategy.
One driver of API adoption is innovation. We find companies trying to expand reach to new markets, launch new products or services, enhance their existing offering or transitioning from the physical to the digital world. This innovation can be driven and funded from inside the company or the company can upsource some innovation tasks to its users, customers and partners.
The idea is to provide all players within your business ecosystem with an API layer that they can use to exploit your company assets, creating value both for you and themselves, and helping your company:
- to customize the service experience to specific market segments that you had not identified
- to create completely new services or integrating your company’s services in larger value chains
- to improve the value of your services by creating complementary services that integrate seamlessly in your product system
APIs within a platform business vision are great innovation enablers.
Improve customer experience
Many companies are struggling to provide an integrated channel experience to its customers. They seek to deliver a cohesive experience, no matter the channel, app and device used to interact with the business. And, on the other hand, they need to access a single view of their customers across channels. The importance of the problem varies from industry to industry but insurance companies seem to be largely affected.
APIs are key to delivering an integrated channel experience so consumers. APIs provide a common layer to access your organizations services from any channel, application and device.
On the other hand, there is a increasing need to tailor customer experience to specific market segments, channels or devices to better serve specific needs. APIs allow for customized consumption of data a services to create rich user experiences that delight your customers.
Firms are looking to reduce manual processing errors, streamline business activities into automated processes and gain accurate insights on the business. We have grouped these API adoption drivers around collaboration.
APIs enable seamless collaboration between internal departments, consumers, suppliers and partners because they provide a common layer to expose business services within and beyond the boundaries of your organization. API powered services can be automated and orchestrated to compose extended business processes, spanning beyond your organization’s boundaries, that digitize all value adding activities to provide real time business communications and insights.
Capitalize on information
Organizations are yet far from unleashing the full potential of their existing information assets. There is a trend to capitalize on these assets using Big Data, Machine Learning, AI and other technologies. But firms are finding their own information is confined and inaccessible as a result of the different technologies, information schemas and scattered systems used for storage. In this situation it is difficult securely distribute information to where it is needed in a timely manner.
To solve confinement issue and capitalize on existing information assets, companies are implementing Information as a Service (IaS) using APIs. APIs are capable of distributing information securely and in real time across your organization.
Develop agility and flexibility
Finally, we have found that some companies are using APIs as part of their strategy to build agility and flexibility capabilities within their organization.
Exposing all your company assets, information and services, via APIs allow your firm to adapt more easily to changing conditions by reconfiguring your business processes, integrating with third parties or customizing customer experience.
We are seeing APIs as an integral part of this years IT agenda. The reasons to adopt APIs and the ROI of the different initiatives is disparate. The most successful initiatives come from organizations:
- with a clear platform model
- that seek innovation as a primary goal
- that are building agility and flexibility as core organizational capabilities
We are still gathering information on API key drivers for adoption. If you want to share I would be glad to know about your case. Why are you adopting APIs?
I originally posted this article on linkedin: Why Companies are Adopting APIs