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APIs: what are they and why they are important to your business? 

Digital transformation radically changes the way how we operate, deliver value to our customers and drive the culture of experimenting. APIs are at the center of this development.

Faezeh Pourbarzegar / June 16, 2020

API stands for Application Programming Interface. They allow applications and software to connect. APIs can affect a business’s entire ecosystem and its value chain: they can help businesses to do more with less.

An API illustrates how to connect a dataset or a business process with a consumer application or another business process. APIs allow businesses to share data and services across their organization, and to their broader network of suppliers, partners and end customers.

Three different types of APIs  

There are three main types, based on how they are made available: Private API, Partner API, and Open API. It is important to understand and identify the different advantages and limitations of these three types:  

  • Private APIs focus more on the internal operations in the business. They help to increase productivity and efficiency.  
  • Partner APIs allow partners access to your software’s valuable information. Thus, it can help the business to improve and strengthen external relationships as well as grow its network to reach their partners’ customers.  
  • Public APIs, also known as Open APIs, can help businesses to add new revenue streams and monetize their digital assets. They can also be thought of as building blocks that enable third-party developers to build applications and services that leverage the business’s data and capabilities, which can ultimately extend the presence of the business in different markets.

API monetization  

API monetization is the process by which businesses create revenue from their APIs. In recent years, a huge number of companies have been able to generate revenue through new business models and new offerings through APIs.   
  
Monetization allows API providers to move beyond their current business models, scale API programs, and find new ways to create value for their customers, developers, and partners. APIs empower developers to harness data and create new services for the whole business ecosystem: companies, customers, developers and end-users.  
  
To monetize APIs, public APIs are the way to go. There are many routes that businesses can take as they open their APIs. For example, the preference may be to first develop private API or internal APIs before opening them up.   
  
There are a few things to consider when looking at API monetization. What’s your strategic goal and business case? What’s the market need and who is the API for? How will you measure success? Answering these questions should help identify the best way to approach monetization.

API solution service benefits  

When moving to an API-driven culture, you need to think about these aspects:  

  • Which API strategy best suits your business best?  
  • When considering open APIs, do not assume that “if you build it, developers and money will come”. Businesses may need a strategy to get the word out.  
  • API Monetization is a comprehensive and adaptable solution that enables businesses to generate new revenue streams from their digital assets.  

How to start with APIs 

To get started, you need a centralized solution to first estimate the business’s capability and then design a roadmap to publishing and maintaining an open API. This decision should be based on the business features and capabilities and designing a revenue model, etc. and at the end developing the APIs.
  
To help you succeed with your API monetization journey, we have created an API monetization framework.

Eager to learn more? Contact us!

Faezeh Pourbarzegar
Business Consultant, Thesis Worker, TietoEVRY

Faezeh has a background in Industrial Engineering in Colombia, and she did her Master’s in Business & Technology program at the Tampere University of Technology in Finland and wrote her thesis at TietoEVRY to explore more and gain more experience in API Monetization and business development around APIs.

Author

Faezeh Pourbarzegar

Business Consultant, Thesis Worker, TietoEVRY

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