APIs as a business case Innovation

APIs and the API-fication as Business Strategy

05/08/20 4 min. read

The application programming interfaces (APIs) is more than IT subject, it goes beyond to all business aspect as a key strategy for achieving business agility in this digital area.

This is a business approach in which value creation results from sharing, providing and leveraging access to enterprise resources through APIs.

Why is the API-fication a competitive advantage? 🎯

The API-fication should be seen as a competitive advantage in any kind of business because it has key implications for future competitive positioning-related digital transformation activities. This is a key contribution to streamlining tasks and processes across the entire business; focused on the integration of corporate digital assets and business services.

APIs for businesses have key implications for the future competitive positioning-related digital transformation activities

In this way data, processes and other business capabilities of companies are made available to an ecosystem of third parties (e.g. banking industry, fintechs, technology vendors, corporate customers). Then opening and connecting the business to suppliers, partners and clients, therefore, proving the business agility, i.e. responding quickly to market opportunities.

Enterprise Architecture as a driving force of the API-fication 👩‍💻

The business services automation through APIs should be part of a business plan and having a strategy and execution roadmap aligned with enterprise digital strategy.

In this way, the Enterprise Architecture is a catalyst of this change leading the API strategy i.e. design, engineering, reuse, patterns, and creating solutions that comprises the future business functionalities as part of API-fication. The API strategy needs be designed and committed with both IT and business stakeholders i.e. business owners, agile teams, solutions architects and product managers where all together share a unique technology vision.

The API-fication journey

Making reality the enterprise API-fication an organized journey is recommended and needed be followed and executed by companies; below you can see a proposed journey that includes the following steps

  • Strategy activities such as analysis industry, development API strategy, API business value.
  • Execution activities such as API prioritise and catalogue, API reference architecture, usage and adoption.
  • Cross activities such as change management, retrospective review and governance focused on improvements such as reusability, performance, catalogue design and code reviews of projects.
APIs as business strategy change management

Strategy activities include such as

  • Analysis industry in this task should be looked at the APIs marketplace in order to reuse the available services and enriching that marketplace proving additional APIs e.g. banking industry access to data and transactions regarding loans, payments, accounts, cards and business accounts by customers or partners.
  • Development API strategy focused on API strategy, reusability and proposing opportunities for business growth with this change.
  • API business value focused on cost efficiency opportunities based on API’s implementation.

Execution activities include such as

  • API prioritise & catalogue, focused on business products and services, functionalities & data that are exposing through APIs, it includes API roadmap.
  • API reference architecture, containing the API Framework, API best practices & standards, Centre for Enablement (C4E) or Competency Centre and technology architecture.
  • Usage and adoption, focused on API development strategy, industrialization (Factory Mode), reusability, API as asset, development, runtime and consumption lifecycle.
API-fication journey in detail

Take-aways ✍️

  • The API-fication must be part of the digital strategy and business plan of any company.
  • The APIs allow the streamlining tasks and processes across the entire business.
  • Enterprise Architecture is a catalyst for change, making possible the API strategy and its execution.
  • Going to the API-fication, the companies need an organized journey that includes strategic and tactical activities (called execution activities too). The above pictures are showing a proposed API-fication journey.

References

👉 Interested in APIs? Keep talking about how APIs are the XXI century prêt-à-porter? 👀

danith valles author

Danith Valles

Santander Technology & Operations

Danith is a Lead Enterprise Architect Team at Santander Group, working in global, strategic and key initiatives as part of Banco Santander digital transformation and innovation.

She has a long history in strategic and technological consulting, enterprise innovation and business transformation. She has a degree in Computer and System Engineering and holds a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from Politécnica de Madrid University (UPM). She has an extensive experience as IT professional, ranging of IT roles from senior consultant, manager and architect in various industries such as Banking, Financial Services, Telecommunications and Government. Previously she has worked in senior positions as Technology Manager, Group Enterprise Architect at TIBCO Software Inc., BBVA, Adidas and Intrum.

 

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