July 1, 2016 | Written by: Frank Oestergaard
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“The sexiest and most value-loaded business technology” is a label I’ve given to what we, in technical terms, call APIs (application programming interfaces). However, the technical wording is actually moot at this point. Instead we need to make clear that it is a must-have solution for any business that wants to survive tomorrow.
Disrupt, disrupt, disrupt
A business must perform on three crucial fronts to keep up with competition.
- On the ability to cooperate from an ”if you can’t beat them, join them” perspective, APIs are a prerequisite for disruptive brands raising the bar for the customer experience. Consumers don’t swoon over good experiences anymore, but they definitely rage over mediocre ones. If a person can order a pizza on their cell phone, they want to be able to do the same thing with their bank loan.
- This leads to the client experience and customer service, and how crucial it is for companies to understand the client journey and the ability to be there at the right time and place. As a brand, you are a service partner with the supreme task of making the customer journey as enjoyable as possible. Companies should treat the consumer as informed and self-reliant–there is no point in neglecting this fact.
- Lastly, a business of 2016 MUST be able to transform its data to insights–both for use in intercompany collaborations but also externally as part of the full customer journey across multiple service providers. The solution to all this is one and the same, APIs. They are the key to a business disrupting itself and taking the necessary steps to secure its own development.
No matter where you look …
Whether you are familiar with APIs or not, you have experienced the possibilities in many situations. Every time we use an application to compare prices or find hotels, this is most likely made possible through APIs gathering data from various sources. The same thing applies when ordering a pizza from Dominos on Twitter or when Amazon makes a button for your washing machine that can order detergent when you have run out. As a brand today you need to think of yourself as an innovator. It is no longer about just selling more stuff or achieving cheaper production. No, you need to find new playing fields.
Forget the technology – demand the result
The challenge is to see and understand how vast the opportunities are in something as simple as allowing a small piece of software to “talk” to another piece of software. An API is a locomotive in utilizing and creating a shared economy between businesses and customers but it also impacts the business-to-business value chain. There is no way around it. Everyone has to have it. And if that is not clear today, it will be tomorrow. API goes far beyond its own technical definition as the basis for all new business models in the digital transformation. So from here, all that’s left to say is… Where do I get one and how do I get it done properly? I suggest you start by taking this self-assessment and find out more about how you can embrace the API economy.