Application program interfaces, or APIs, are central to how digital enterprises operate today — and they will continue to play a vital role in shaping business operations for years to come. For the uninitiated, “digital enterprise” describes a business that utilizes technology on both internal and external levels to build and maintain a competitive edge.
According to CIO, “digital enterprise” is more than just a catchphrase: It describes how technology forces businesses to change how they operate to keep up with consumer demand. The introduction of new platforms like smartphones, tablets, and Internet of Things (IoT) devices have made APIs central to the digital enterprise, enabling communication between these different systems.
A Primer on APIs
In short, APIs streamline device and application communication and integration, generating a wealth of opportunities for businesses to create new products and put a high-tech spin on existing ones. Thanks to APIs, the smartwatch on your wrist is able to exchange information with the smartphone on your desk — and the website you just used to find a nearby restaurant used an API to generate the map. According to Gartner, the API economy extends the use of APIs to “a set of business models and channels based on secure access of functionality and exchange of data.” Businesses in the API economy are using APIs to boost company profit.
APIs Are Essential to the Digital Enterprise
Examined in context, the API economy is a primary driver of the digital enterprise in the modern business climate. The new backbone for businesses in the digital world, an API acts as a quantifiable service that can be sold and used, often bundled together to provide a full-feature product or service.
Developers have only begun to scratch the surface of how businesses can use APIs to perform more efficiently and competitively. Companies and organizations across the globe are shifting their attitude towards APIs from a closed, internal concept to an external one that allows outside developers, businesses, and customers to integrate services and share information across platforms.
The shift to emphasize APIs in digital enterprise traces its roots back to the introduction of custom applications on smartphones. Smartphones are a disruptive technology because they make customers want to do everything on their mobile devices. With this came a need to streamline the communication process between applications running on smartphones and other devices, as well as integrate application features inside of other applications. According to Gartner, the proliferation of IoT devices acted as a second disruption, increasing both demands and opportunities for businesses to use APIs.
However, an API is only as good as its performance. API testing services help businesses identify and resolve issues before they become major problems. API testing not only catches problems, but also finds ways to improve performance for a better user experience. Make sure your business’s APIs are running in top shape, by contacting Apica today.