Accelerating value in the API economy with mainframe

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In today’s vastly interconnected world, the places for lone islands of business to prosper are few and far between. Organizations are built on trade, and market leaders collaborate for new opportunity, innovation and competitive advantage. Over 70 percent of CxOs are seeking to increase their partnerships, and in this digital marketplace, application programming interfaces (APIs) have become the de facto trade model.

drivers vs enablers, API EconomyThe modern API enables frictionless access to new business ecosystems through simple, self-defining interfaces, without the need for extensive inter-company negotiation or customization of systems. More significantly, this “API economy” means organizations can tap into an unprecedented diversity of digital services at lower cost, with great competitive advantage.

Emerging digital natives have proven to be a remarkably disruptive influence across multiple industries by taking full advantage of the API economy. A new app can come alive in minutes, built upon a recipe of API-powered services that uniquely combine social media, weather and IoT data, or cognitive and blockchain solutions and even — in the near future — quantum computing.

This new business model is not the territory of the disruptive digital native; we now see the rise of the incumbent disruptor: the established organizations that harvest their enterprise data and business logic, using it to accelerate value in the API economy.

How does the incumbent disruptor exploit the API economy at speed?

Short answer: with an API-enabled mainframe.

IBM Z is open and connected for the digital economy

Mainframes are the core infrastructure system for many of the world’s leading businesses, with 44 of the top 50 banks and 90 percent of the largest airlines run on IBM Z mainframes. Given the importance of these systems to their businesses, imagine harnessing that business logic and data with the API economy.

In fact, it’s already happening.

Over the last 18 months, market leaders have adopted key API technologies to reimagine the experience of consuming mainframe-hosted services. Now, their digital app developers can self-discover a CICS application, or liberate data services from IMS as quickly and intuitively as they would from a Twitter API.

The common theme for these market leaders? Two key technology enablers:

API Connect, API EconomyAPI Economy










IBM API Connect, API Economy

Unleashing financial services with open banking

The financial services sector is just one example of an industry undergoing immense transformation, with banks providing boutique new services under the umbrella of “Open Banking.” This initiative, part innovation and part regulation, gives far greater choice in how we consume our banking services. In the coming months, Open Banking will allow us to see our total assets, regardless of bank or card provider. And soon after, AI-powered concierge services will be offered that make intelligent suggestions; that identify the best value retailer; earn loyalty points; and then pay from the most appropriate bank account.

IBM mainframe clients are adopting Open Banking the world over, exploiting z/OS Connect EE and API Connect to do so at speed, and underpinned by the trusted digital experiences inherent to IBM Z. You can read more about Open Banking with IBM Z here, and see these technologies in action as they accelerate a secure API platform in a real-world banking showcase.

And with last week’s announcement, IBM has extended the z14 family so that now businesses of all sizes can capitalize on new API-enabled ecosystem opportunities in a low-cost, secure cloud infrastructure.

Your organization is undoubtedly embracing the API economy; are you exploiting your greatest asset, your mainframe, to accelerate value?

Learn more with these resources:

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