Traditionally, businesses have relied on the ‘scale up’ model to increase revenues. With an onslaught of technological breakthroughs and increasing pressure on growth, organizations are forced to challenge that model. The new concept of capitalizing on existing data assets and leveraging platforms has taken over the conventional thought process.
Given the organizations are undergoing digital transformation and with increasing demand for tailor made solutions, organizations have started adopting open APIs. The ingenious businesses have realized the potential of using APIs as strategic tools for innovation and how unlocking its potential can drive business for the organization. APIs enable businesses to accelerate their development and help them migrate to cloud, social platforms and mobile. If we consider the open source movement, APIs allows developers to change the source code of any program or application and create a new application enabling the interaction between a system and software program possible. This empowers firms to drive efficiency and dexterity across its organization and partner ecosystem. Previously, APIs were developed to satisfy niche demands but gradually the scenario has changed to adopting it as a strategic tool.
What has spurred the rise of APIs as a strategic business tool is the need to deliver innovative functionalities faster and with very impact on resources. This is especially true in case of tech startups and e-comm where pressure on optimizing resources and spends is high. By adopting open APIs, they can leverage best-of-breed software and get it integrated into their offering. However, product managers must throw caution to the wind by laying down clear objectives for developers so that efficient delivery happens without too much of deviation.
Most don’t seem to understand the core nature of open APIs. An open API is not just a feature, it is a product in itself. What it means is it has its own use cases, business objectives, clear roadmap, a strategic business model and a launch plan. And because APIs are going to contribute to your revenue, product managers must treat them the same way they treat their products. As a matter of fact, assigning a dedicated technical manager to a set of developers is a common practice today. Using it in a strategic way means making it appealing to developer communities first. Unlocking the potential efficiency of the both the organization and developer gives credibility and enhances the chances of product adoption.
Enterprises can cash in on these partner ecosystems and generate more business value. For instance, any traditional business can collaborate with developers and generate APIs that can provide extra functionality to their user. This will enable the core application development team and product managers to focus on the original product.
Today’s technology landscape revolves around being digital and engaging with your customers through smart use of analytics, mobile and cloud. Organizations need to realize it sooner that they need to be prepared to support the API initiatives to thrive in the digital world. The time has arrived when organizations shift their attention from internal to external information exchanges, only then the innovation, in its truest sense, can occur.
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