It’s no secret that adopting APIs is good for business. But players in some of the largest traditional industries, specifically energy, logistics, packaging and banking, have been slow to catch on. Mark Boyd over at Network World explains how they lag behind the rest and why it matters.
Mark quotes Gartner research director Mark O’Neill as saying that 2017 will be the year of dramatic increases in API consumption. This growth comes from companies looking to transform themselves digitally, especially marketing and sales operations that are on the frontline with customers and prospects.
The result is that CMOs are getting powerful in IT-related departments as they can prove their adoption of new technologies has an effect on the bottom-line. They can even adopt SaaS products without permission of IT departments, hence the success of Slack. The CMOs then need APIs and integration tools to help manage the resulting complexity. Gartner’s O’Neill points out that this means more departments, especially marketing and sales, are consuming a selection of APIs relevant to their needs.
But what does this have to do with the traditional industries? Mark took a look at banking, energy, logistics and packaging companies’ use of typical API stacks like digital commerce, marketing automation, and customer segmentation. The results were not pretty. They showed the popularity of API stacks for digital commerce and IT operations but even here less than 10% of companies had adopted them. For the other API stacks, less than 6% of companies in all the four industries had taken them up.
This despite the Mckinsey Global Institute saying in 2015 that the most digitized sectors of the US economy are taking a strong lead over the others. Mark concludes that the results indicate that it’s a great new market for new API companies in 2017. Or, if not, the traditional industries are ripe for disruption.