With the increased use of APIs, API management solutions have become a key component of digital business success – and is central to managing the relationship between API providers and consumers.
An application-programming interface (API) is a set of programming instructions and standards for accessing a web-based software application or web tool. A software company releases its API to the public so that other software developers can design products that are powered by its service. A typical example is Amazon.com who released its API so that developers could access Amazon’s product information. Using the Amazon API, a third-party site can post direct links to Amazon products with updated prices and an option to buy immediately. So they’re effectively opening up a new channel for people to buy from them.
API management is then the process of publishing, documenting and overseeing these APIs in a secure, scalable environment. The goal of the API platform is to allow an organisation that publishes an API to monitor the interfaces lifecycle and make sure the needs of developers and applications using the API are being met.
But there are a few more benefits of API management – here are our top 6:
1. Create new revenue streams
You can create lucrative new revenue streams for your company when digitally transforming – while creating an ecosystem that promotes flexibility, adaptability, agility and innovation. APIs are the critical link within this ecosystem. It connects your stakeholders with your back-end services and allows new capabilities to be built on them. An API management solution allows you to design, create, publish, and manage APIs to give your enterprise the business agility it requires.
2. Creates a better user experience for your customers
An API management system will make your APIs highly visible and consumable and allow your customers and partners access to your products/services anywhere and at anytime, thereby increasing your visibility and channels to market. It should even allow your APIs to be accessed by external developers ensuring collaboration that contributes to the growth of your API, and makes sure that the needs of the users are quickly met.
3. Increases agility by rapidly creating new digital assets
Your API management solution can enable you to design and publish APIs in an iterative manner while giving you full control of the API lifecycle. This helps you to reduce time spent on creating your APIs and helps you deliver your services much faster. You can even orchestrate and combine services into one API to build a solution. When you want to enhance your API but don’t want to affect the customers already using it, you need to be able to create versions of the API.
4. Leverages the value of existing legacy systems
API management tools can help you overcome the challenges of exposing certain services of your legacy systems by translating outdated security protocols to standard, modern and user-friendly protocols. It also optimises your APIs by translating complex data output by your existing systems into simpler message formats and protocols. You can even orchestrate and combine your back-end services to create one functionality and expose it as a single API.
5. Allows for data-driven decisions through business insights
Your API management solution can allow you to learn more about your API consumers, such as usage patterns, device types, and geographical locations through its analytics component. Analytics functionality could give you the information you need so you can improve the customer experience you offer and make strategic business decisions.
6. Protects your company from security threats
API security ensures that your digital business is protected from both internal and external threats. You should be able to control the levels of access each application type has and combine user authentication between different identity providers to make sure all IDs are fully verified. You should also be able to detect anomalies, threats and fraud in real-time, ensuring quick action against any risks.
Also check out our whitepaper on the 7 pitfalls of API Programmes.
We enable digital transformation through API management, DevOps and Microservices. Our consultants have been delivering integration projects since 2007, so delivering API integration and management is a natural extension of our services. Our expert IT integration services include consulting, development, delivery, support and resourcing. We deliver our solutions by partnering with top vendors in the industry.
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