As the world moves further online, establishing a business has only become easier. And it’s changing the way businesses operate.
Industries are saturated with more competitors selling similar, and often indistinguishable, products and services. And that means it’s no longer just what you sell that sets you apart, but how you do it better than your competitors.
This is leading businesses to search for new services to offer and ways to cut costs. And APIs do both.
As Matt McLarty, Global Leader of API Strategy at MuleSoft explains, “The real power of APIs is when we break business capabilities in our business down into these discrete API enabled capabilities. It gives us a lot of agility to rebound or to repackage things, to take best of breed functions and aim them at whatever channel we want; compose them in whatever way we want.“
These API-enabled capabilities are helping businesses deliver new services and enact cost-cutting measures that’ll differentiate them from the competition.
Let’s dive into 4 ways businesses are realizing big wins using APIs.
Data aggregation for insights and experience
You’ve probably heard it all: “Data is the next oil”, “Data is the rocket fuel for AI”, “Big data is…” The thing is, this is all largely intangible to smaller businesses that don’t keep teams of data scientists on hand.
What businesses can get started on today, and see near-immediate results from, is aggregating information through useful APIs.
As McKinsey puts it, APIs are “the connective tissue in today’s ecosystems.” They can share data between internal and external systems, helping employees and customers get the information they need fast.
It’s the speed and convenience of APIs that really make them valuable. When you can aggregate disparate data from across your business and the web, you can help customers make decisions faster and give employees deeper insights — without switching between tabs or creating mammoth spreadsheets.
No industry exemplifies the power of data aggregation more than travel.
APIs do more than just share data back and forth. They also play well with other applications.
Useful APIs can trigger all sorts of time-saving tasks for teams — think, automatically populating admin fields or sending out welcome emails. The potential time and effort saved is a dream for internal operations.
But API automation can also be great for customers. If your application’s API integrates well with others applications that customers rely on, it gives customers another reason to choose your product.
Launch new capabilities faster
In today’s competitive landscape, agility can be the difference between winning customers over or watching them leave.
That means the faster you can spin up a new feature or service, the greater your chances of keeping customers around for the long haul.
And APIs are a business’ fastest path to adding new capabilities and functionalities.
Rather than tasking developers with learning about and building capabilities, every time you have a new idea or your customers submit a ticket to support, there are a range of fast-to-integrate APIs that can help you roll out a new service in days, not months.
Meet regulatory compliance
Many industries are inundated with stringent regulations that require strict processes to meet them. APIs are the easiest and most cost-effective way to ensure regulatory compliance.
Healthcare providers in the United States, for example, must follow HIPAA and HITECH regulations to protect patient privacy. That demands strict practices for transferring data securely. While paper documents get the job done, APIs share information electronically, helping providers work faster.
And the security and authentication measures are near bank-level for many APIs, proving even safer than traditional paper or email processes.
Build an API ecosystem
Find out how to build an API ecosystem that delivers better customer experiences, greater productivity, and increased business flexibility at break-neck speed in our latest guide: The API ecosystem blueprint.