In the last decade, offices and workplaces of all types have undergone digital transformation, moving away from traditional, paper-based systems to cloud and SaaS programs. The “Digital Revolution” has been, in some ways, just as transformative as the more famous Industrial Revolution that proved to be the foundation of the global economy in the 20th century.
Governments and companies worldwide are now placing more emphasis on a more environmentally-friendly, green economy, and digital technology is an essential piece of the puzzle. However, it is a challenge to manage the different programs and processes that drive digitally mature businesses.
An average small to medium-sized business is now likely to have over 70 different applications and programs they need to manage, and this is where APIs come in.
APIs serve as the glue that brings these applications and programs together and enables them to function. At Universal Adapter, we define APIs as:
In short, APIs serve as integration points for multiple software programs and platforms. An API (Application Programming Interface) allows two programs to communicate with each other, ensuring a smooth user experience. Whether you are using Facebook, checking the news, or finding your favorite podcast on Youtube, you will likely be using an API - without knowing.
As well as supporting the user experience, APIs can be used to synergize multiple systems such as Salesforce and Netsuite. The ability of APIs to manage and format data enables these systems to integrate smoothly without any bugs.
The key is to build an API ecosystem that ensures you can optimize the performance of your business. It is essential to look at how your manage your APIs.
What is API Management?
The art of API management is creating the conditions in which APIs can carry out their functions with high efficiency. The role of API management comes down to two core elements:
- API functionality and deployment: The first job is to ensure the APIs are working and deployed correctly. There also needs to be a continual emphasis on development, ensuring that your APIs are performing optimally.
- Data collection and management: The second element of API management is looking after the data, which fuels the digital era. Using analysis, you will be able to track the data and see where your APIs are performing and which areas need refining.
In short, API management is about retaining an oversight over your API ecosystem and making sure that it’s running as efficiently and smoothly as possible.
Why is API Management important?
It is one thing to have APIs; it’s quite another to ensure the broader ecosystem is optimized and running at peak performance. The results become evident in a number of ways, including:
The aim for most companies is to grow the market size, profits, and teams. A honed and refined API ecosystem can support your growth strategy. The key is never to stand still and always strive to improve your existing APIs and develop new ones whenever needed.
For instance, you could duplicate existing APIs and tweak them for different processes, thereby saving hours, if not weeks, of app development time. In product development, this can be invaluable and significantly speed up the time to market, and in turn, revenue.
The same principle can be applied to internal apps, where remote teams can easily communicate on projects and other vital tasks. APIs play a critical role in ensuring the programs involved in each project are interconnected, and the relevant information is automatically updated across different platforms.
The automating of data management and streamlining of app development both lend well to scalability. It speeds up projects and product development, enabling your business to generate a healthy cash flow. It also allows your teams to focus on more projects and become more productive.
With a strong API management strategy in place, you would lay a foundation for growth.
As a business, particularly in e-commerce and food delivery, the focus should be on providing a seamless experience for the customer. In the digital era, trends and customer behavior can change quickly as technological advances and innovations continue apace.
A well-managed API ecosystem can help your business to keep up with the ever-evolving needs of customers. APIs can process the data accurately and in real-time in areas such as personalization, product recommendations, and same-day deliveries.
In doing so, you could be giving your customers the extra level of service that puts you ahead of your competitors, even if you charge more. Instead of racing to the bottom in terms of profits, you can maintain your margins and retain more long-term customers.
A key component of API management is API security. By their nature, APIs are accessible, and if left alone or mismanaged in any way, then it could be a potential vulnerability in your business. It is essential to retain tight control over your data - particularly the data that concerns your customers and sensitive information about your business.
A well-run API ecosystem can provide some support in ensuring the security of your data by providing clear and structured oversight. Without having that visibility, then securing your business and data will become more challenging.
API Management Helps to Secure Your Business
To fully understand the importance of API management, you need to look beyond APIs. The value of data security and management cannot be overstated in today’s digital age. Data is the fuel, while APIs are one of the critical cogs, if not the engine, of the modern economy.
Using an API management platform like Universal Adapter, you will be able to securely integrate the different applications you need to run your business. The aim is for the data to seamlessly flow between third-party programs, filtered by APIs, so your processes do not become overloaded.
And, together with a robust API management strategy, you can do this in the peace of mind that your data security is assured.