Here is a well-known fact: We live in a highly connected world. Every day we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data, whether as individuals, businesses or machines. And we do so using numerous devices and applications.
In the business world, being able to access, process and combine such data is vital, as they can hold critical information for the business, the market, the product and the customer.
In the past, it was common for each department in an organisation to procure applications independently, in order to manage their own data for their own needs. These applications were built to serve a specific purpose with little provision for the future. Something like a friction-powered car toy: it’s one shape, one colour and will move in only one direction. It can only change with human intervention and manual labour!
Over the years, and with an increasing need for data-sharing and insight to support business growth, IT departments started connecting these applications with what is known as point-to-point or one-to-one integrations. And this is fine and manageable when there are only a few applications running in a small business. However, with an average lifespan of anywhere between 15 to 40 years, a large enterprise today may have amassed over a thousand applications!
Many of these applications, very much like the all-time classic toy cars, are too rigid to support the modern enterprise and a few have become legacy -that is, no one supports them anymore. What’s more, the necessary point-to-point connections are becoming a maze, causing quite a headache to IT departments and hindering business growth.
This is where APIs and API-led integration come into play.
APIs are a set of functions and procedures that allow the creation of applications which access the features or data of an operating system, application, or other service. But for our purposes, we will refer to them as building blocks.
APIs, same as building blocks, are supported by a robust base -the integration platform, but allow the business unparalleled freedom and flexibility to easily build and rebuild exactly what the business wants.
They allow the business to access data from across the organisation and even share data with 3rd parties, such as partners, suppliers and customers. All in an agile and highly secure manner. And because they are easy to build and manage, they accelerate the development of applications, bringing IT departments at the centre of business transformation and growth.
If for example the business wants to build an application -for the purposes of our example say that the application is a gas station; it will give the requirements to the architect who will put together the building blocks to create that gas station. If a new requirement comes in to add 2 more pumps and a café to the station, it is easy to add a few more building blocks. Still part of the same structure with only a few changes.
If tomorrow the business decides that the gas station is not profitable anymore and wants to convert it into a shop, with the same building blocks the architect can design and build the shop.
APIs today are the most effective and secure way to connect data, applications and devices. They enable larger enterprises to transform their operation and improve their competitiveness, whether locally or internationally, faster, achieving at the same time:
Optimisation of processes
Faster time to insight
Enhanced customer experiences
More effective decision making
Unified view and centralised access to data
So if you are ready to join the API – economy, we are here to help you get started.
If you would like to find out more about how API-led connectivity can help you create a fully integrated environment, do give us a call at +44 (0)203 475 7980 or email us at Salesforce@coforge.com