The demands on modern businesses to remain competitive are considerable, with software continuing to support users’ demands for applications and data to be always connected and always available. In a recent article for TechCrunch, MuleSoft Founder and VP Product Strategy Ross Mason discussed how businesses need to change their thinking on IT to not only avoid technology pitfalls but leverage its vast business potential.
APIs are the driving force behind this shift by enabling connectivity to provide easy access to data and assets. This allows a shift away from traditional thinking on IT as delivering narrow projects for the business, towards offering reusable capabilities that allow external business users to self-serve and deliver their own projects independently.
This new operating model requires a two-speed approach that can be seen in General Electric’s (GE) stance on IT and the business. This saw the company launch GE Digital in September 2015 with the aim of growing its software and analytics business to a Top 10 software company by 2020. GE now needs to act like a flexible startup offering intuitive and dynamic software and services while simultaneously supporting its traditional business units that move at a far slower pace.
GE Digital’s cloud-based platform Predix connects data, people and machines in real-time to expose intelligent insights, serving as an example of GE adapting its operating model to meet modern market demands through innovation. Similarly, Expedia Affiliate Network (EAN) gives developers free access to its technology platform via its APIs, opening new revenue channels from third-party websites and generating convenient user experiences.
Expedia now generates 90% of its revenue in this open and collaborative way, and this is entirely facilitated by embracing APIs as the key to business success.