The four megatrends of the IT industry/business of today all requires APIs to be utilised. Your organisation better have a strategy and the capacity to handle this before you face an even larger gap between the IT organisations ability to deliver and the expectations of your business. Without a successful API strategy, approach, organisation and platform to deliver APIs, you will be left behind when your competition moves on.
So which are the mega trends of today?
- ”Real-time data exchange” - Organisations of today are already relying heavily on analyzing data for making the right decisions or predictions to optimize sales, workforce or other resources. The trend is that the amount of data to be collected and processed will increase massively in the coming years. How to take care of and distribute this data to your ecosystem without APIs?
- ”IoT” - In a very near future loads of devices will be loaded with sensors and processors to send you all kinds of information on their current state, localisation etc. To be able to efficiently communicate with these and their various protocols and standards you will need APIs.
- ”Game changing services & business models” - Businesses of today are constantly challenged by new phenomena, customer behaviour changes or new competition that arises from the most unexpected places. In order to face these challenges and become the challenger/disruptor instead of being disrupted you will need to be able to move quickly. How to do this without APIs that lets you exchange data with new partners or in new ways?
- ”Process automation & data analytics” - Access to large amounts of data combined with tooling and strategies for AI, process automation and predictive analysis, has made it possible for organisations to automate processes and decision making to a larger extent. How to do this without APIs?
The common thing for all the above trends is that they require the ability to exchange data/information in an efficient and timely manner. They also require you to move fast, since changes in customer or user behaviour occurs much quicker today than they did just a couple of years ago.
The only way for your IT organisation to be able to cope with this is to create an efficient infrastructure that enable Self Service and a Consumption approach to APIs/integration/data, rather than having to deal with orders for every single integration they will require to deliver on all the above mentioned trends.
Self Service API portals
To achieve this, IT organisations will have to opt for creating Self Service API portals, where developers/business people can find the APIs required to communicate and exchange required data. I would suggest to try to mimic the likes of Google App store or Itunes Stores, where users can download the app they require for their smart phones.
In an API store or portal, it should be possible to find the APIs the business requires to gain access to or deliver information. The role of the IT organisation is to be enablers of this infrastructure and the gate keepers that monitors and administers the store and its usage to handle potential over usage or security issues.
Who have embarked already?
This is why APIs and API strategies are such hot topics in ongoing customer discussions and why the likes of Lindex, ICA, Scania, Lantmäteriet, Skatteverket, Arbetsförmedlingen and several others have decided to embark on a journey to become API Ready!