Everyone’s building API strategies. APIs are the new buzzword in business as companies realise the commercial benefits of opening up their businesses through APIs to extend functionality and appeal and are pushing API strategies as a result.
At Apps World Europe in October API strategies from companies as wide ranging as The Guardian to ASOS, FT and Coca Cola will come under the spotlight in a dedicated track covering APIs. A growing number of companies are realising the potential for APIs to transform their businesses with the competitive advantage they offer to extend reach, lower operating costs and get to market a whole lot faster than has traditionally been possible.
However it does require a shift in thinking for businesses looking to adopt an API strategy approach, simply because it does require a more open, accessible way of thinking.
The benefits of such an approach are perhaps best summed up by Capital One’s general manager of Capital Deals Paul Sun who has been reported as saying:“We have a much better chance at succeeding if we co-develop with all the creative minds out there instead of fearing them”. The company became one of the latest financial institutions to open up its APIs to developers last October and is working with API management start-up Mashery as it looks to boost its deals, rewards and identification strategies. It has said the payments market is an obvious market for the benefits that opening up an API bring.
At fashion retailer ASOS an API strategy is integral to the company’s desire to constantly stay one step ahead of the competition in delivering new services to its customers without getting distracted from the rest of its development plans. “An API enables us to respond quickly and drive continuous delivery and product enhancements to our tech savvy and demanding customer base,” says Marie Hamblin, business development at ASOS and a former API product manager at the retailer, who will be speaking at Apps World Europe in October. “An API allows ASOS to be creative in the digital space without impacting the current roadmap and as a fast growing multinational organization, the API enables us to adapt quickly offering relevant features to relevant markets,” she says. The retailer has already launched a number of API based offerings such as its colour canvas feature – an app that allows shoppers to select items by colour.
At general goods retailer Argos an API strategy is also key to the retailer keeping one step ahead of the competition with the retailer having described its API strategy as a “vital part of Argos’ transformational plans”. The retailer is encouraging the building of apps from both open and closed developer communities depending on business need. However it also maintains a strong control over access to its APIs to ensure the security of its systems.
Aggregated professional movie review site Rotten Tomatoes has also used the opening up of its API to encourage new business partnerships such as with Apple, Comcast and Dish and new audiences by giving users access the company's Tomatometer rating system and the aggregation of movie reviews across multiple sites and devices.
The satellite navigation company says that for its business having an API strategy provide the – excuse the pun – correct route for digital maps that more closely involve the user providing more than services that are simply A to B directions.
Through its API strategy the company has also opened up its mapping in response to customer requests meaning customers are now able to request and receive TomTom data in seconds and more closely integrate and monetise its digital data to provide mapping services to other websites and users.
Find out more about API strategies at Apps World Europe’s API strategy workshops.