5 Things To Know About the Power of the API Economy
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In my long career in the IT industry I’ve been involved with architectures and technologies such as SOA working with clients to create flexible applications that enable companies to respond to rapidly changing markets. In the last few years a new era of IT computing powered by the API Economy has emerged. It allows companies to reimagine their business processes, customer experience, and introduce innovations in new products and services. In this blog post I share with you five important questions that companies starting the journey to remove the barriers of legacy applications and become part of the API Economy are asking. For more information see the IBM® Redguide™ publication The
There are five main reasons why companies should embrace web APIs and become an active participant in the API Economy:
Business purpose platforms enable creation and growth of digital products for an enterprise without your company being the creator. Platforms allow thousands or millions of developers to build products or thousands of partners. Platforms improve brand and add value for your clients and partners. A network effect occurs as more users, developers, or companies join. Platforms enable economic activity. That is, a force multiplier is created where your company appears bigger than it actually is.
API platforms represent an important new dimension of focus for companies. API platforms allow companies to consistently deliver APIs as building blocks for customer, partners, and developers. This newly created, evolving, and diffused network of API enables creation of new capabilities and business models. It also results in newly created partnerships between providers and consumers.
The figure shows API adoption models which reflect four distinct models of adoption. The API adoption model is not a maturity model as organizations may find themselves adopting one or more adoption models based on product innovation, experience in next generation platforms, goals in re-inventing customer relationships or simply the business becoming digital as it competes with companies born during the cloud and Internet eras.
API adoption models
Examples abound in every industry with Amazon and Salesforce being poster children for leveraging the API Economy, companies building with a next generation platforms, moving beyond enterprise IT to an API strategy. Incumbents can look to start-ups as examples of API-enabled disruptive business models. Traditional enterprises such as banks see disruptions in loans and payments as examples:
IBM can help enterprises move into the API Economy by providing platforms, tools, and resources to make the transition seamless and natural. IBM is working with developers and third party providers to advance a marketplace that enables the sharing of web APIs and other essential capabilities. IBM continues to share its collective knowledge and expertise with its clients and will continue to incorporate lessons learned into IBM products and offerings. Recently, the IBM Watson Group was established to lead the way into this new era of computing.
Kerrie Holley is an IBM Fellow in IBM Research focused on the API Economy and next era of computing. He is an IBM Master Inventor and a member of the IBM Academy of Technology. Kerrie is the lead author of the IBM Redguide publication The