Businesses today operate in a primarily digital landscape. Customers increasingly interact with brands digitally, and companies use digital platforms and processes. IT experts are in high demand, but in low supply, as the number of applications leveraged by businesses and consumers increases.
With so much occurring digitally, the need for connected business systems is imperative. Your databases and applications must communicate effectively and securely.
API-led connectivity is one method of ensuring your business can keep pace with evolving technology and digital platforms.
What is API-led connectivity?
Modern businesses use numerous applications as part of their tech stack. Think about what your company leverages every day. You likely have databases of customer information, employee details, competitor data, etc. You need this information when liaising with customers, designing new products and making strategic decisions about your business.
API-led connectivity brings together your databases and applications to increase data accessibility and availability.
Before API-led connectivity, businesses would leverage point-to-point integration, which only connected two systems at a time. It was fairly inflexible and prone to breaking when one system changed.
Now, API-led connectivity enables you to connect and scale your applications and databases to create efficient modes of working. When adopting new platforms, API-led connectivity provides you with the tools needed to integrate your current IT infrastructure and new platforms without breaking your existing integrations. For your developers, it massively simplifies application development by enabling them to reuse APIs rather than coding from scratch every time.
API-led connectivity improves productivity
API-led connectivity positively impacts productivity in a few ways.
First and foremost, it delivers a centralised system where your team can work with data and applications in one place. Manually duplicating or searching for data between systems is time-consuming. When people can find what they need in one place, tasks take less time to complete and productivity increases. The run-on benefits are savings in time and money and reduced risk of errors resulting from manual data entry.
The second way APIs improve productivity is by simplifying application development for your developers. APIs are beneficial due to their reusability. Developers can leverage APIs from previous integration projects rather than coding from scratch.
Developers can quickly connect their existing applications and data to new applications and data by using APIs. This reduces the time it takes to develop a new application and allows developers to focus on the business logic rather than the underlying infrastructure.
Reduce operational costs
Similarly to how API-led connectivity increases productivity, it also reduces operational costs.
Reusability is part of this equation. When developers reuse APIs to build new applications and integrations, it decreases the costs of developing those systems. You would have invested in developing the first API from scratch, but you do not need to do so when the developers reuse it.
Connecting systems and data reduces operational costs in the long term as well. People can work more efficiently with accessible data, so you no longer pay for the time people spend completing tedious, manual data entry tasks. Using APIs to connect systems can reduce the time and money spent copying and managing data. Additionally, APIs can help businesses automate processes, further reducing operational costs.
Quickly launch projects with API-led connectivity
API-led connectivity shortens the time to market for new products and campaigns by breaking down data silos and enabling developers to get new projects off the ground quickly.
When you have accessible data, it increases the flexibility of your business, which enables you to deploy products faster. You can leverage your data to find new and innovative opportunities in the market, monitor your customers’ needs and respond to changing conditions.
API-led connectivity is an essential tool for businesses that want to stay agile and responsive to changes in the market. It allows you to quickly adapt to new opportunities and challenges by providing access to data and resources. This flexibility is critical for remaining competitive in today’s market.
As a result, you can leverage your data to make informed decisions about the direction of the business. In addition, API-led connectivity can help companies better track and monitor their performance, allowing them to identify areas where improvement is needed.
Enables new business models and revenue streams
APIs are not just about technology. They can deliver deep business value to enterprises across different industries. You can leverage APIs to offer products and services across B2C (like eCommerce) and B2B (shipping services to retail customers).
Unbundling key functionality into API-accessible business capabilities is a hallmark of companies transforming into digitally managed businesses. They can then re-bundle the business capabilities to extend their reach or open up new customer and revenue segments. APIs helped Netflix achieve screen ubiquity and accelerated Uber’s move into food delivery.
When the pandemic hit Australia, New South Wales Health Pathology shared clinical data and test results with hospitals and physicians, which helped them address health concerns and provide remote treatment to communities.
Enhance business process management
API-led connectivity improves business process management (BPM) by automating tasks. Automating task execution saves your business time and money by reducing the need for manual data entry.
Task automation can also improve customer service by providing faster turnaround times for tasks initiated by customers, such as order fulfilment. You might use APIs to set up an automated workflow that updates customer records in your CRM system when someone places a new order.
By automating task execution, you can free up your employees to focus on other tasks that require human judgement and expertise. Automating such tasks also eliminates the risk of human error in data entry. This also becomes especially useful if your business needs to comply with specific regulatory requirements.
In summary, API-led connectivity can enhance business process management by automating tasks and making connecting to other applications and data sources easier. Implementing API-led connectivity can help your business improve accuracy and scale as you grow.
Leverage data from legacy IT
Data is the lifeblood of any business, and APIs allow you to tap into new data sources that can provide insights into business performance, expectations and new opportunities. Not all of this data will reside in your newest business systems. Sometimes, you will need historical data to support decision-making.
Businesses can get valuable insights that would otherwise remain hidden in silos by connecting to legacy systems with APIs. APIs provide a way to unlock the data hidden in legacy IT systems by bridging the gap between cloud-based applications and your legacy infrastructure.
In short, API-led connectivity enables businesses to take advantage of data hidden in legacy IT systems, connect to new data sources, and get a better picture of their overall performance. By unlocking the power of data, businesses can fuel innovation and growth.
APIs drive innovation
Innovation is the DNA of successful companies, now more than ever.
Innovation is the DNA of all successful companies, now more than ever. A study by Salesforce found that 88% of customers expect businesses to accelerate their digital initiatives in the wake of COVID-19.
APIs allow companies to accelerate their innovation by unlocking their core capabilities as digital assets. These digital assets allow customers to expand their reach and tap into new markets that otherwise wouldn’t have been considered (either due to a lack of resources or due to a lack of awareness). For example, an insurance customer who adopted digital technologies and transformed their business to an API-led digital enterprise could not only sell policies through their own web and mobile channels but also created a platform for collaboration with airlines, travel portals and eCommerce players to sell their travel and home insurances by white labelling their products.
Mulesoft API-led connectivity with MakeSense
You have a business vision, but are you unsure where to start? We know that mapping the next steps of your API strategy feels intimidating. We believe that having a second pair of eyes to find direction is the starting point for successful API-led connectivity.
Our experts can assess your current strategy, make recommendations, and implement a solution with Mulesoft’s platforms. Learn more about our Mulesoft expertise and how we can support your business.