Why businesses can’t ignore the API economy

Data analytics return on investment CSC Blogs

In today’s digital economy, application programming interfaces (APIs) are everywhere. Whenever you send a tweet, check an email, catch up with news on your mobile, or buy sunglasses online, you’re using an API.

Another way APIs prove their worth is when they stitch together older legacy systems and infrastructure with the latest enterprise-grade applications. In effect, APIs will let your business innovate and participate in the digital economy, no matter how old your business is or how old your systems are.

As digital disruption takes hold, and every company and industry looks to harness digital efficiencies and opportunities, APIs are becoming increasingly important. For example, as online-only players such as Youi disrupt the insurance market, Australia’s older insurance companies use APIs to improve their online services. Similarly, to head-off challenges from online-only banks (Ubank, ME Bank, etc.), traditional banks use APIs to improve their online and mobile services.2

APIs are also key ingredients in the powerful cloud services that are transforming entire business disciplines such as sales, marketing, and HR.

IT leaders, fresh from their boardroom briefing on embracing digital disruption, are looking at how they organise their applications and how they can better use APIs to harness the latest, powerful software applications. For enterprise IT departments, technology strategies often result in two approaches.

In the first approach, Application legacy systems run applications that ‘keep the lights on’. In effect, this is the central technology stack, with vertical linkages extending from the depths of data storage up to end-user application interfaces.

However, the second approach of working is less constrained and more innovative. Rather than vertical linkages in a technology stack, horizontal linkages extend out to a platform ecosystem of innovative cloud-based services. In this mode of working, APIs are a key ingredient that stich together data and processes via increasingly powerful dashboards and interfaces.

For innovative enterprises harnessing APIs and software in this way, a truly flexible range of capabilities are opening up. These software-driven capabilities can provide many benefits such as: improved online and mobile services; Omni-channel through the reuse of business logic, improved resource utilisation; and accelerated application development processes.

For enterprises seeking to innovate and win customers back from their online-only competitors, strategies for leveraging APIs and software are crucial leadership discussions.

fay-flaveraFay Flevaras is CTO of Banking & Capital Markets, CSC Australia and New Zealand. Fay engages with clients and partners to provide thought leadership across the business and technology spectrum. With over 20 years’ experience in strategy, architecture and IT delivery across the banking and finance industry, Fay is outcomes-focused and has proven success delivering solutions to drive business benefits in complex environments, as well as successfully delivering digital innovation projects that are a ‘first” for organisations. She has been instrumental in changing the digital banking landscape in Australia through her involvement in projects including Pay Wave, tap & go, mobile banking and API platform.



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