Mobile and cloud to drive enterprise need for APIs

by CXOtoday News Desk    Aug 01, 2013

mobile cloud

Application Programming Interface (APIs) as a digital channel has been growing steadily in recent years with an increased demand from the enterprise. A new research by Layer 7 points out that by 2018, nearly 85% of enterprises will have some API programs in place. At present only 43% of the organizations interviewed said they have already introduced an API program and another 27% said that program is scheduled to launch at their company within a year. almost all of them believe that API program can have an extraordinary impact when used correctly, especially in the recent business landscape that are dominated by cloud and mobile technologies.

For most companies, one of the key reasons for rolling out APIs is to boost their mobility programs, as told by 72% employees. Almost 70% want to increase their integrations with business partners, while 68% are looking to develop APIs for the cloud. Some others believe APIs can also be useful in fostering internal projects or to create communities of third-party developers.

“Enterprises are increasingly recognizing APIs as a cornerstone of the modern open hybrid enterprise,” said Dimitri Sirota, senior vice president, Security, CA Technologies and co-founder of Layer 7. According to Sirota, for an organization to be successful, it must have a strategy to deploy and manage the APIs that will enable it to secure and leverage data, empower a mobilized workforce and engage with the developers driving the app economy.”

Powerful brand driver

According to many, APIs are becoming brand drivers. Leading brands like Nike, Coca-Cola, and FedEx have already extended their brand experience to their APIs. According to Sam Ramji, Vice President, Strategy at Apigee believes like the Web in the late 90s, APIs are a digital channel with high potentials.  He writes in his blog: “Unlike the Web, APIs are force multipliers for the community surrounding a brand.  Companies and developers that value the brand are empowered to extend it into new digital media, from apps to devices to automobiles.  Brand strength comes from consistency and ubiquity; the scale of the explosion of new types of devices and digital experiences challenges any single company to deliver ubiquity by itself.

Just like no man lives in an island, in a world driven by apps, no company can solve every problem. “APIs are the bridges from the corporate island, and a well-executed API extends a powerful brand like an island that has bridges to everywhere.
-Sam Ramji, Vice President, Strategy at Apigee

Execute with caution

Despite its high growth potential, enterprises need to exercise caution in an API program. As Eric Knipp, Managing Vice President in Gartner Research, believes a great many API initiatives from non-technology companies suffer from poor, or entirely absent design.According to Knipp, “A Consumer-Driven approach decouples API design from the underlying data model it exposes to its intended audience. It forces the design team through a repeatable and transparent methodology that produces demonstrably better outcomes than an ad-hoc and hackneyed approach.”Experts however believes, as apps and APIs expand on smartphones, tablets, TVs, and even cars, and enterprises will adopt many more smart devices to drive growth, the scope for APIs will continue to expand compelling enterprises to opt for a planned API program and strategies.