The concept of data transfer is nothing new to most of us – yet few understand how exactly data exchange works. At mimacom, we are intensively involved with technological solutions such as APIs, which are the interfaces that transport data between different apps and applications. How does digital data transport work with APIs? And what does this have to do with your company? The blog has the answers!
APIs are everywhere
At first glance, they look like quite ordinary web entries: we rarely directly discover APIs, or application programming interfaces to be more precise. A café on Google Maps, a hotel on a comparison platform or an online appointment calendar for individual booking – we don’t really make a direct connection from them to data exchange. Only when we interact with a website or app do we see more clearly under which user interface APIs are hidden.
- If we search for the opening hours of this café, Google’ accesses the information of the corresponding website and displays it to us directly within the app. We don’t need to visit the site ourselves.
- If we want to compare hotel prices, a platform provides us with the data of hundreds of providers without having to call up the individual websites.
- If we want to book an appointment online, many websites now link the calendars of their service staff, and show us free options in a simple and uncomplicated way.
The result: A convenient user experience without any media disruption. Everything is possible, thanks to APIs. The effect can already be seen: Today, interfaces are everywhere where different systems interact with each other in order to provide us with information quickly and easily.
APIs ensure relevance
APIs are a big deal for businesses today: Google, Facebook and Salesforce were among the early adopters, but now the interfaces are no longer a vision of the future, but much more crucial to demonstrate relevance in the market today. True to the motto “First come, first serve”, those who have all interfaces to external platforms, websites, apps and applications have a clear advantage. There are certainly enough use cases. In addition to popular apps and online portals, entire business models based on APIs are also booming:
Connected car services, self-service APIs, pay-as-you-live insurance and open banking models are among the best known, and demonstrate that APIs have become a success factor across industries. By moving data back and forth, you open the door for companies to gain more visibility, attention, and at the same time generate important information about users. This development means that API management becomes the central challenge of data-driven companies in addition to the APIs themselves.
An API team for your business success
Those for whom the term API management means little are probably just as well informed as many other employees and employers worldwide. In fact, the business world lags a bit behind when it comes to API management, but in recent years it has increasingly become a political issue in large corporations and successful medium-sized companies. In the organization of API management, however, there is a need to catch up, especially in medium-sized companies. Often hurdles arise at various points that unnecessarily delay or prevent API management. APIs, on the other hand, that IT experts say the business unit does not want to recognize their importance, are becoming increasingly rare. So the question is not really whether there is a need for an API team as how to build a successful API team.
With connected data to digital business success
There are many areas of application for APIs in companies. The art now is to use the interfaces correctly. An API team can not only take over the important part of the administration, allowing APIs to be used and reused internally by all departments, but also contribute to the development of new business models.
The special thing about this is: APIs can thus become an innovation engine for an entire company. If a company decides to open APIs to the outside world, there are countless possibilities.
Unlike simple data exchange between sender and receiver, APIs represent a new concept of connectivity, a digital data transport 2.0, a bottleneck that connects countless apps and applications. We are in the middle of the API economy and will be happy to show you how to successfully navigate the new environment.
Our white paper “Why API Management? Connected Data for Digital Business Success” provides you with an overview of the most important reasons for API management in the company, shows how to build a solid API strategy and guides you step by step into practice with clear use cases and a practical road map.