Faced with the rapid transition to remote work, the shift to digital customer interactions and global supply chain disruptions caused by the global pandemic, organizations are beginning to rethink the way they work. This has accelerated many digital transformation projects and led to an increased need for APIs (application programming interfaces) as organizations look to ensure that their employees, suppliers and customers have access to the data they need – when and where they need it
We’ve seen APIs powering COVID-19 contact tracing as well as providing infection tracking and reporting in the public sector, often in cooperation with either the private sector or non-profits. But from healthcare to financial services, we are seeing organizations across industries turn to APIs to drive the business transformation needed to respond to the current pandemic and prepare for the next crisis.
The API economy
In a previous blog, I discussed the API economy and what that means for organizations, both public and private. The only thing that has changed is the speed of transformation. Up to $1 trillion dollars in profit is open to redistribution as the economy moves toward ecosystems.
The great advantage of using APIs over older ways of collaborating is that they can be reused with different partners and different use cases. APIs mean there’s no need to re-invent the wheel every time you want to set up new partnerships. This allows organizations to stop thinking in terms of projects, and instead think in terms of functions. The same APIs used to share data and run processes internally can be used to exchange data with third-party applications.
The secure exchange of data in the API economy allows organizations to move quickly and embrace new opportunities cost effectively, which is crucial as the “normal” ways of doing business have been disrupted. It allows better insights and oversight, breaking down silos to allow companies to unlock the value of their data.
APIs for financial services, manufacturing
An example of this is Indonesia’s Bank BRI, which has opened its credit scoring capabilities via an API as a paid service. This has allowed a digital network of operators to offer banking services to unbanked persons in regions that do not have traditional branches. Bank BRI has seen this API monetization generate $50 million in revenue, but it is not the only beneficiary. The agents and their customers also benefit.
Another example is the Open Banking initiative in the UK, which has seen financial services having to open up connections with other organizations, including other established players as well as fintechs. Financial services around the world are looking to modernize and provide frictionless experiences, and APIs are key to reducing that friction.
But financial services aren’t the only organizations that can benefit from using APIs to add flexibility and agility. Manufacturers – which need to coordinate many streams of data, including those from suppliers, logistics providers and customers – are seeing the benefits as well, both in reduced costs and enabling new ways of working.
Connections are key to business. In these times of physical distancing and remote working, it is essential to build and maintain strong connections that enable you to grow your business.
Wherever there is interaction between businesses or between businesses and customers, there is potential to realize value from APIs – either by achieving savings or by monetizing the use of APIs for third parties.