Offering flexibility and variety, APIs help to boost revenue.

Businesses from a variety of industries are adopting APIs to achieve their strategic goals more efficiently at the moment. So what is it about solutions that offer cross-app data sharing and streamlined integration that makes them so valuable to modern organisations?

Expanding functionality

In the past, businesses looking to develop their own software for internal use or to provide customer-facing features would have required significant resources and tools to make this a reality. However, in the age of APIs it is possible to add a wide range of features to a bespoke app which are based on data derived from established third party services.

For an example of how to use an API, consider the case of a hotel website that wants to offer baked-in booking for customers. Harnessing an API from an established third party provider like Expedia will allow for booking to be managed seamlessly without visitors having to head elsewhere. This is great for organisations of all sizes since it means there is a parity of functionality whether the firm is a vast multinational or a small scale start-up.

APIs can cover everything from transactional capabilities to social media integration, mapping and beyond. This means that no matter what you want your app or website to do, it is possible with the right APIs.

Stimulating innovation

The best thing about APIs is that they encourage input from a wide range of sources, rather than being tinkered with solely by a single developer. This means that there is plenty of room for innovation and expansion without one company monopolizing the whole process.

This allows entire ecosystems to develop around APIs, making different types of data available to many more businesses and industries in the process. This is especially relevant in the age of big data-driven machine learning, where supercomputer resources can be put to work on everything from retail and fashion to healthcare.

In turn this allows APIs to evolve and appeal to new markets over time, rather than stagnating by only focusing on a single niche.

Future-proofing

Aside from needing to expend a lot of time and money to add functions to apps without the use of APIs, there is the added issue of having to constantly work to keep the software up to date over time, as new technologies emerge and user expectations shift. Thankfully this problem evaporates when you work with APIs since they can be added, updated and even swapped out for more modern equivalent when the time comes without you needing to start from scratch.

Of course there are different types of APIs available, ranging from open APIs which are accessible and adjustable without limit, to partner APIs which involve paid licensing agreements and even private APIs which are only intended for internal use. This means that there is still plenty of variety and flexibility in terms of which are chosen, reinforcing the idea that APIs offer an immensely egalitarian approach to app development that can reliably boost revenues.