API Management

Building business resilience with API management

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Over the last several years, as digital services and interfaces have become the primary way businesses interact with their customers, maintaining ‘business as usual’ has demanded digital transformation. In difficult times such as these, however, it may be tempting to put digital transformation projects on pause until budget surpluses return. This is a mistake. In fact, it’s more important than ever during  disruptive periods to make your business more resilient against both ongoing challenges and others that will emerge. 

One path to greater resilience starts with application programming interfaces, or APIs. APIs are how software talks to other software, and many of today’s most compelling digital experiences involve using APIs to connect data and functionality in new ways, including combining legacy technologies, such as CRM systems, with new technologies, such as artificial intelligence, or new interfaces, such as voice. Taking an API-first strategy to digital transformation can increase operational efficiency, accelerate innovation, and improve data security. 

An API management platform can help you leverage APIs in a strategic way. Here are the three key ways that implementing an API management platform can help you to build a more adaptive and resilient business:

Reusing existing assets

APIs make it easy for companies to take valuable functionality and data that already exist within their four walls and make it accessible and reusable, hiding underlying technical complexity. So, when the market changes and you need to pivot, you can easily re-task these APIs to build new apps and services. 

Furthermore, an API management platform acts as the connective tissue that allows you to take those APIs and securely share them with developers, both inside and outside the enterprise, to foster new operational efficiencies, unlock new business models, and enable business transformation. 

For example, Pitney Bowes used to connect to backend systems through a lengthy and repetitive process. Using APIs, they integrated applications into their back office, accelerating internal development and lowering costs. The results were dramatic. They reduced the time to build new applications from 18 months down to four.

Improving security and scalability

The move to digital interactions as the primary customer touchpoint also introduces new scalability and security challenges that must be addressed to ensure a seamless experience. 

Companies may face sudden spikes in demand for their digital services. Scalable APIs keep services accessible and extensible, independent of the volume of transactions. An API management platform enables companies to rapidly scale their API programs without business interruptions by providing scalable API design, extensibility, and demand balancing. 

To address the increased avenues for bad actors to access sensitive data, API management streamlines secure third-party access to existing resources without passwords and reduces the risk and exposure to security vulnerabilities and possible data breaches. It lets businesses offer developers self-service access to APIs, which keeps innovation humming, while also monitoring every digital interaction and controlling access with light-touch processes, which helps to keep data secure. 

Driving customer interactions 

By bringing the latest advances in big data, machine learning, APIs, and predictive analytics to bear, you can bring a higher level of engagement with your customers, across various channels. 

API analytics create a strategic view of all of the business transactions, helping IT teams identify APIs that are driving the majority of traffic. Armed with this information, companies can optimize their budgets and focus on the API products that are in demand by customers. 

Similarly, API monitoring can ensure that every interaction meets your customers’ high expectations. Monitoring dashboards provided by an API management platform provide at-a-glance visibility into hotspots, latency, and error rates while enabling users to drill down to find policies where faults occur, target problems, and address other specific elements that require remediation.

Looking at business resilience in a wider context, digital transformation is the key driver of innovation and operational efficiency during times of uncertainty. Whether you are facing challenges or opportunities, you must be able to reconfigure the things you already have to meet internal and external demands. More than ever before, developers, and partners look to APIs to drive operational efficiency, accelerate innovation, and create rich customer experiences. 

Our new ebook “The Path of Most Resilience” explores these three tangible ways in which APIs help build business resilience. To learn more about these strategies and how Apigee can help, click here.