APIs in the Brave New World

Katie Doyle
May. 14 2014, 06:56PM EDT

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As Ben Kepes, technology evangelist, business adviser and Forbes writer, puts it in his new white paper, “change is the only constant.” And the changes occurring for businesses today are tectonic: a workforce increasingly composed of “digital natives” who demand connectivity, flexibility, and intuitive technologies; a major shift towards the cloud; increasing reliance on big data and digitized devices (from toothbrushes to refrigerators); and a new business landscape that rewards agility, reinvention, and lean operations.

In this brave new world, the API is king. The API is the interface that opens data and applications to internal teams, business partners, customers and 3rd party developers. APIs are “the glue that binds it all together,” as Kepes puts it.

The real impact of APIs needs no metaphor, as they are opening up new uses for data across industries:

  • Location-based data can inform retailers when a customer enters a brick-and-mortar shop, so they can deliver personalized offers based on customer buying history and demographics
  • Real-time diagnostic health data can trigger alerts to medical professionals for increased speed and quality of care
  • Jet engines and wind turbines, with the help of sensors, can collect and analyze data about their own operations to continually hone and optimize performance
  • Businesses can reach entirely new markets and create profitable new partnerships by sharing data with third parties and by repurposing core data in creative new ways that nurture new business models

The examples of how APIs power both business and consumer use of technology are countless.

Forming an Advantage in the API Era

With change comes opportunities, as the examples above underscore, but capitalizing on these opportunities will require significant shifts in business operating models and IT architecture.

Organizations will increasingly move away from monolithic stacks and the rigidity they impose on the business, and towards a living, breathing “technology fabric.” This fabric will ensure security, reliability and control, while offering the flexibility and agility for individual users across the value chain to achieve their goals.

The term “composable enterprise” has been coined to describe the way the new IT stack will look, but there is one critical element to enabling this composable enterprise to function: the API. Read the whitepaper by Kepes for a full examination, and more examples to share across your business, on the advancements made possible through APIs.

View the paper now »

Katie Doyle

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