Integrate API ecosystems to fuel innovation

Overview: In a changing world, ecosystems integrated with application programming interfaces (APIs) will fuel business innovation and growth.

Application programming interfaces (APIs) are at the heart of the most successful digital businesses, powering everything from online advertisements and social media to cloud businesses. As businesses undergo digital transformations to reach more customers, APIs fuel those transformations to bring new products to market.

Over the past decade, APIs have quietly played an important role in revolutionizing legacy or old-school processes to make them simpler, more transparent, and more accessible. They have helped companies streamline, share data, and improve overall efficiency, which has increased customer satisfaction.

The rapid growth in the public availability of feature-rich APIs is significantly fueling an increase in API-centric businesses. According to some estimates, one million APIs will be in use before the end of the decade, compared to around 20,000 at the end of 2015.

Growth engines

Three main drivers can be identified for the growth and development of APIs: an increased focus on creating differentiating customer experiences, the desire for frictionless access to mutually beneficial data from other companies within a shared ecosystem wider and the need for faster access speed. Marlet.

Companies are doing all of this while creating new platforms for customer engagement in the digital world (and soon in the metaverse too)!

Today, businesses are using ever more responsive websites, custom mobile apps, and other user-friendly digital interfaces to improve their interactions with customers. APIs allow businesses to leverage data and services internal as well as other organizations, thereby increasing transaction volumes and revenue generation.

As APIs grow in popularity, number, and variety, the need and rationale for an API integration platform increases. API integration has become a cornerstone of a digital future as organizations have begun to understand their needs and importance.

This integration allows organizations to connect cloud applications, link tools to create an efficient stack, create new APIs that save time and money, and extract data from existing and legacy sources. , improving productivity and strategic outcomes.

In India, APIs are growing faster than globally, and organizations are using APIs to integrate with various existing systems to focus on their core business. Indian fintech and financial services organizations are building and operating open API networks to accelerate digital transformation, with a focus on secure, scalable and commercialized services.

API integration and ecosystems

Today, API integration opens doors to information, insight, innovation and analysis, powering mobile apps and helping the Internet of Things (IoT) connect to the cloud .

Unlike in the past, when companies clearly saw the benefits of ecosystems but no revenue growth (Accenture Strategic Report, Cornerstone of Future Growth: Ecosystems), today’s thinking is that solving the problem for customers today today means growth, revenue and a stronger competitive position tomorrow. .

Ecosystem strategies allow companies to focus on what they are good at while relying heavily on partners to help translate business skills into new markets and new use cases. The rise of ecosystem strategies reflects the recognition that modern digital workflows and experiences require rich software stacks that are beyond the internal capabilities of most companies and must scale faster than traditional technology partnerships can. .

The API ecosystem is complex and needs to be well managed by the program. At Fidelity Investments, building strong technology platforms while leveraging digital capabilities is part of the company’s philosophy and culture. APIs have been a key pillar of the company’s technology strategy over the past decade, giving us a solid foundation for innovation to deliver a better customer experience.

Two key strategies we have implemented to seamlessly embrace the complex API ecosystem are:

1. API Product and Integration Services Strategy: This focuses on a strong API-first culture with leadership and practitioner engagement, and continuous efforts to develop digital skills and behavior. We released an API roadmap, standards and templates, and a governance mechanism to keep the momentum going. We also created enabling mechanisms such as API tools, controls, API security systems, and traffic routing, as well as clear direction and ownership of API products. This is all possible through established enterprise-wide API management policies.

2. Robust Developer Ecosystem: The next part of our strategy is to build a robust developer ecosystem by providing standards and tools to accelerate API adoption. Some examples include creating an ecosystem to develop solutions using APIs, promoting documentation as code so that developers maintain documentation with the same rigor as codes, creating and use of “mockAPI” – a tool that allows developers to easily create mock APIs. , and tools for rigorous testing. We have also created an API Marketplace – a digital exchange with API powered offerings. Additionally, we focus on non-technology aspects such as proactive coordination and communication as well as rewards and recognition to connect and motivate players in our ecosystem.

As a result of these efforts, we launched several enterprise API initiatives from Fidelity Investments, India and designed several standards, maturity models and best practices that enabled our journey towards a culture of ‘API.

In a changing world where innovation and connectivity are key to revenue differentiation and growth, integrated ecosystems are the way forward. An API ecosystem helps reduce implementation time and costs by leveraging new emerging technologies that enable more seamless digital experiences, and therefore more innovation.

To wrap up, here are some of the top API trends that I believe will grow in importance in the near future.

Open integration and API standards are increasingly adopted. There will be significant growth in the community around the development of these standards.

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a growing push towards increased digital transformation through APIs. For organizations looking to achieve digital transformation, API management is the most promising path.

An API-centric approach is the most productive way to integrate multiple technologies. Organizations looking to implement API-centric architectures will need to embrace API management throughout their lifecycle. Technology teams will need to drive this through a design-driven approach.

  • Delivery of low-code and no-code APIs to become the gold standard Low-code/no-code capabilities will become increasingly important in 2022 as API adoption continues to accelerate across industries.
  • Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning APIs

Companies will need to adopt an API management platform that can safely use available external AI and ML APIs, to realize their full potential.

  • Metrics-driven approach

Last but not least, it will be important to track key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics to measure actual impact against business goals, as well as the ability to gain behavioral insights through systems maturity.

Srinivas Gururaja Rau is Fidelity IT Fellow and head of the Fidelity Fund and Investment Operations (FFIO) technology team at Fidelity Investments, India. Visit the website to learn more about Fidelity.



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The opinions expressed above are those of the author.



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