Harnessing the power of connected platforms and APIs


APIs are traditionally used by developers to create system to system communication and automate manual and tedious processes. However, companies today are increasingly making their services and data available through web APIs to internal and external developers, creating higher value and innovation to create new ecosystems and empower connected platforms.

Hence, APIs are no longer relegated to the realm of developers and IT architects. Executives and decision makers with organisations need to understand the immense opportunities that APIs present for their business to innovate and stay ahead.

Data drives creation of APIs

Data provides insight, which is a powerful asset. It illuminates opportunities for companies to address customer concerns, identify unmet needs in the marketplace or improve existing benefits of a product and service.

While APIs have a broad range of uses — including distributing products, facilitating ecosystems, making business processes more efficient, and transforming real world tasks into digital experiences — the value of an API centers on creating, analysing and monetising data.

Enterprises have systems of records and engagement. They can combine these deep data stores with transaction systems to gain unique insights like customer preferences and needs gaps to obtain a powerful baseline for opportunities to monetise that information by creating API.

Leveraging API for business intelligence

Just as data drives API creation, APIs drive platforms. Platforms and their nodes are governed by the network and the signals within them. As the Internet dramatically reduced the costs associated with bringing content for purchase to market, traditional models begin to gravitate towards greater efficiency with wider reach and lower distribution costs.

In the today’s market, it is easy to bring a content to Internet and then rely on automated analytics via the APIs and signals in the network to determine its success and promotion.

Examples of APIs using data intelligence and driving content viability to likely buyers:

  1. Across any number of social sites, popular content is seen more and more via retweets, reblogs, upvotes and number of other indicators of interest and value
  2. Recommender systems used by ecommerce companies to promote products and services catered to existing and future customers’ personalised preferences and past consumer buying behaviour

Potential value of data and APIs

A platform and API-centric strategy creates a virtuous cycle of feedback and growth. When we examine the lifecycle of development and innovation, APIs drive speed and agility by eliminating manual work and providing self-service access to valuable data and processes.

What I observed is that companies will need to become more connected and true value is further extracted and optimised by having an open API to allow more avenues and opportunities to extend its brand awareness and easily partner with other businesses.

As more data is gathered from across a distributed network, it will enable the creation of new intelligence to be distributed through the network and thereby inform the creation of new ecosystems and unlock potential business opportunities for the organisation.

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