Understanding the Value Proposition of Web APIs

Research || || Baljeet Malhotra || June 30, 2019

In the beginning (early 70s and 80s) APIs were primarily restricted to the technical domain, where developers would use them to access and/or extend application functionality using low level programmatic libraries. With the advent of the Internet, organizations started realizing the actual business value of APIs through enhanced product functionalities. The exponential growth of mobile, social applications and cloud-based services has further increased the value proposition of APIs, which enable seamless integration with various applications globally. APIs (or Web APIs, to be more accurate) have emerged as strategic digital assets that have become an integral part of many organizations’ business models.

Many organizations are not only utilizing API-based digital platforms built by others to enhance their existing products and services, but these organizations are building their own APIs to create new revenue sources. Key values offered by APIs are summarized below:

Integrated User Experience: As a digital asset, APIs enable the consolidation of various services to form a single unified view of an organization.
Improved Operational Efficiency: APIs provide real-time access to business functions and authoritative data, eliminating delays and dramatically reducing redundant data replications and data silos.
Accelerated Innovation: APIs open an entirely new stream of innovations, for organizations and their customers, partners, civic organisations as well as their competitors, by creating an environment where new ideas and state-of-the-art service delivery channels can be incubated, such as mobile applications and integration with social networks.
Increased Agility: APIs promote business agility by creating a virtual service layer that isolates users from changes in underlying IT systems, thus enabling the modernization of aging IT systems without impacting services and delivery channels.
Expanded Outreach:  APIs are the key to expanding the scope of business transactions to external partners, customers, civic organizations such as provincial and municipal governments, and industry stakeholders.

Overall, APIs create tremendous business value for organizations, but they also pose serious compliance and security challenges, especially when organizations need to deal with thousands of APIs. Do you want to know more about our cutting-edge API management solution that enables enterprises to realize the full potential of APIs without compromising on API security and legal compliance? Contact us for more details about our research.