An improved programming experience with a digital innovation strategy
It is not an easy task to innovate in the digital era. Once market movements have been identified, companies have to be brave enough to initiate transformation actions that at times cannibalize their own main business.
Aside from bravery and commitment to the correct digital strategy, innovation can bring with it major operational limitations; such as for example a lack of personnel with good programming skills to carry out new activities at the right time and with the necessary flexibility and speed.
That is why having an ambitious innovation strategy means acquiring programming skills that may not easily fit the company's budget, whether because hiring the right people is expensive or because training current employees takes time.
The challenge is even greater if we consider that the digital world is becoming more complex, with an increasing number of interconnected devices, all of which can be programmed in their own way. These objects are around us and each of them has an interface through which we can send instructions, collect useful data and innovate, using these data in a new way.
In order not to be left behind, one way of overcoming these operational restrictions consists of exploring the company's digital resources to leverage existing external programming skills. This means having a potentially unlimited capacity for crowdsourcing in the digital innovation strategy.
Once the company has decided to use this approach, it will compete with other companies for the same resources, whether in the same industry or not. That is why as a tactic programmers should be offered an easy way of using their resources that will attract them so that their valuable skills do not end up migrating to other companies.
Offering well-designed and usable APIs is key for dealing with this operational challenge. Although in themselves they are not always designed to be versatile pieces of programming, if a good and useful set of tools is added to them the APIs improve the experience of programmers, who feel more motivated to integrate them into their programs.
What would the components of this set of tools be?
The first and most important component is the API portal. It is a public Internet page, personalized and with the company's logo, colors and corporate texts, on which programmers can easily find their APIs and their corresponding descriptions, and where they can register.
Once registered, the programmers can find all the instructions needed to use the API services within the portal. Before using them, they can even test them in a trial environment to ensure that the APIs chosen fit into their applications as they should.
The programmers will not feel alone in their attempts to use APIs because they will have free access to discussion forums where their peers and the company's managers can exchange questions, queries and opinions.
When the APIs are in use, the programmers may also monitor the development of the underlying services through user-friendly graphics that will help them measure their performance.
All this implementation process will guarantee that a extensive digital strategy can achieve its objectives at lower operational cost, optimum market times and truly innovative pace.