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Post: Future Proofing Your Business with APIs



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Learn 5 steps to take to future-proof your business with Application Programming Interfaces or APIs in this primer.

“Come gather round people, wherever you roam
And admit that the waters around you have grown
And accept it that soon you’ll be drenched to the bone
If your time to you is worth saving
Then you better start swimmin’, or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times, they are a-changin’”

This is the opening verse to Bob Dylan’s 1964 song “The Times They Are a-Changin’.” The idea of constant change has been around since way before 1964. One factor of today’s change is that it is accelerated drastically due to technological advances.

The Atlantic, in 2015, noted a remarkable increase in patents over the previous four years. In a US PTO (United States Patent & Trademark Office) chart, viewers can see the annual increase in granted patents since 2015. 

These patents, which are only a fraction of the advances and changes that occur in the world, combined with previous changes, create a vortex of adaptations businesses must deal with to keep from sinking like a stone.

Mobile connections in 2022 totaled 10.80 billion; by 2030, 500 billion devices will be internet-connected. These and many other factors mean that the change and potential for increased market opportunities – and software dangers – are unparalleled. 

How can a business learn to swim in the shifting international currents of the cyber sea?

Going beyond treading water

Businesses have always had to be profitable and revenue-generating, but agility is necessary in today’s market. Digital transformation requires consistent, sometimes constant, adaptation. Agility leads to stability; innovation leads to growth; integration and interoperability lead to expansion. APIs provide these advantages.

Using APIs can help future-proof businesses by providing scalable, flexible, efficient, and secure ways to integrate processes, data, and services with other systems and applications.

Here are Five steps to take:

  1. Develop a comprehensive API strategy. This must align the business objectives, target market, and technology infrastructure. This must also include security, scalability, reliability, and usability considerations. 61% of one survey’s respondents “admit that they lack any API security strategy or have only basic protections.” Reputational harm and legal fines due to lack of proper security are just a couple of ways that can diminish a business’ life.
  2. Identify the key data and processes that would be exposed to other applications and systems through APIs. This might include customer data, inventory, sales transactions, and other business-critical data. As needed, align the strategy with regulatory requirements such as GDPR and CPRA.
  3. Choose the right API technology stack and tools that meet business needs. This stack includes the API architecture and factors such as performance and ease of use.
  4. Provide comprehensive documentation, support, and resources for developers. Resources for those who want to use your APIs may include code samples, SDKs, and tutorials.
  5. Monitor and analyze API usage and performance. This data will identify opportunities for optimization and innovation. Use analytics tools to gain insights into behavior patterns and trends. And this will help with improving and updating the APIs, in addition to being able to secure them from attacks such as DDoS.

Factors in Keeping Afloat

Two of the main factors involved in navigating the swirling waters of the future of technology are scalability and flexibility. APIs can provide these.

How do APIs provide scalability?

APIs, and the accompanying API strategy, can provide scalability as follows:

  1. Decoupling services: APIs provide a way to decouple services and systems. This allows businesses to add, remove, or modify components without affecting other parts of the system, making it easier to scale individual components.
  2. Modularization: Businesses can break down their systems into smaller, more manageable modules. This makes it easier to scale specific components without scaling the entire system.
  3. Load balancing: Distributing the load across multiple servers or data centers ensures that services remain available even during periods of high demand.
  4. Asynchronous processing: APIs can be used to manage requests asynchronously, freeing up resources to handle other requests and reducing the risk of bottlenecks.

How do APIs provide flexibility?

APIs provide flexibility by enabling businesses to easily integrate and connect different systems and applications, regardless of the underlying technology or platform. Here are some ways that APIs, along with a business-appropriate architecture and deployment approach, provide flexibility:

  1. Platform independence: By abstracting the underlying technology and platform, APIs allow organizations to connect and integrate systems with a decreased regard for the platform or language.
  2. Service orientation: APIs allow businesses to expose their services and functionality as modular, reusable components that can be easily combined with other services to create new applications or systems.
  3. Customization: APIs can be customized and configured to meet specific business needs, whether integrating with third-party systems or adapting to changing requirements.
  4. Extensibility: APIs can be extended with new functionality and services, allowing businesses to add new features and capabilities to their existing systems without replacing or rebuilding them.
  5. Interoperability: APIs provide a standard way for different systems and applications to communicate with each other, regardless of the technology or platform used.

It’s About Customers

APIs make integration with business processes, data, and services efficient by providing a standard, automated, and scalable way to connect different systems and applications.

Considering these steps and ideas will set the business up to better leverage APIs. This way, they can create a more agile, resilient, and secure business that can adapt to changing customer demands, emerging technologies, and evolving market trends while improving efficiency, reducing costs, and providing better services.

Lora Helmin

Lora Helmin

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