APIs are now not just limited to use cases in basic software improvement but an emerging superpower in related markets like strengthening cyber security, compliance monitoring and blockchain development.
Do you know you are leveraging an API every time you sign into social media, tracking your grocery, checking today’s weather on your phone, performing KYC for getting more benefits out of your favourite payments app, or interacting with an order form? You might be surprised to learn the level to which APIs have seamlessly integrated into our lives and eased our overall experience.
In today’s digitally interconnected world, Application Programming Interfaces, also known as APIs, have gained popularity among companies for providing easy-to-consume digital tools. APIs are at the heart of tech innovation in the world as they allow businesses to capitalise on big data, forge alliances, and unlock new opportunities that fuels growth. APIs play a crucial role in driving tech innovation, and enabling businesses to unlock an ocean of opportunities by helping design workflows in tandem with multiple vendors and the multitude of applications they expose. It is a crucial layer that helps in reducing go-to-market time for any new product.
It’s not just businesses that benefit from APIs; they change the way developers create innovative digital solutions. With the help of APIs, developers can increase productivity as they don’t have to work on a product from scratch and can share data with third-parties easily. APIs also allow developers to build a personalised service that focuses on the target audience. Today, most developers rely on APIs to create products, with minimal human involvement & interaction , in a short span of time.
Hurdles to Innovation Despite the benefits, numerous challenges make API integration difficult for developers. A 2020 ‘State of the API Report” by Postman revealed that technical complexities along with a lack of time, people and proper documentation are amongst the most common obstacles faced by developers while creating and consuming APIs.
Another challenge that developers face is integrating with APIs that are not yet fully ready for production and scale, and hence when such APIs are updated by the API providers, the onus of synchronizing their existing integration with the updated API specification falls on the developers. Other challenges that hamper the rate of API integration include inaccessible or broken testing environments, no sandbox, no POC support, etc.
Building a Smart and Connected Future Together
Several companies worldwide have realised the value API adds in a business and hence are working on developing solutions that make API integration a piece of cake. In recent years, there has been a rise in API platforms that help developers in designing, testing, documenting and developing their APIs. Such platforms also allow companies to monitor their API, create automated tests, perform debugging and run requests. Postman, Swagger UI, Insomnia REST Client, Paw, Apigee, and cURL are examples of some of the companies helping transform the lives of developers across. These platforms empower businesses with the highest level of automation.
Big tech companies like Microsoft, AWS, and Google offer developers an enhanced opportunity to design, secure, deploy, monitor, and scale software applications. Other companies like Stripe and Twilio have significantly improved developers’ experience through their unique approach of leveraging APIs.
The idea of an API economy has been around for ten years. However, the growing importance of digital transformation has paved the way for heavy reliance on APIs. As per McKinsey, APIs will evolve further to offer more advanced services such as enabling machine learning and supporting the broader use of digital currency. The deep penetration of APIs in software development has enabled developers to build core functionality quickly. Moreover, it has also facilitated a faster go-to-market approach that helps companies empower businesses with new-age digital tools.
APIs are now not just limited to use cases in basic software improvement but an emerging superpower in related markets like strengthening cyber security, compliance monitoring and blockchain development. It is moving away from traditional verticals and showcasing its magic to transform verticals like Fintech lenders, Gig economy, marketplaces, wealth management, payment service providers, etc.
Traditionally, business owners have invested heavily in acquiring technology that can help them build and launch a digital product. More recently, there’s a rise in no-code or low code platforms that has allowed business owners without any dedicated tech team to build new products with merely a few lines of code. These integrations will bring in an evolution in terms of offering fast and innovative solutions to digitally native users as well as companies.
Source: Business World