The power of APIs: improve your company's earnings
For some years now, APIs have been the great catalyst of change in business organizations. And that is essentially, thanks to its capacity to generate new business models and increase their profits.
The last few years have been key in digital transformation, and from the next few months through 2020, every company will know, at the very least, the power APIs can have on their income statement. This scenario is what we know today as the API economy.
In today's highly competitive technological world in which keeping organizations afloat requires a great deal of talent and effort, it is vital to understand the influence application programming interfaces (APIs) have on business and the new channels of revenue generation they offer.
APIs are not even a business choice. They are the fuel which powers the entire business system. Companies such as Amazon, Facebook and Google offer APIs to connect to their services and others like Uber are API companies that feed their business with third-party interfaces to provide services to their users.
The API economy allows companies to extract the highest value possible from their data or third-party information through the creation of experiences and attractive services for customers. APIs are gateways that connect these data with services, applications and digital systems in fields as diverse as the sectors of retail banking, communication and content, leisure, entertainment, e-commerce, cloud services, etc. There are dozens of fields and uses.
The needs of those customers are driving the development within organizations of the most efficient APIs for the creation of key products and services for the business.
In the end, it is a two-way transformation: first, the evolution of development and business teams to drive improvements in APIs and, second, the conversion of the organizations' business into a platform. A scenario in which companies are technology companies where revenues revolve around APIs.
A company understood as a platform revolving around an API, which is able to multiply its ability to create value: connects various business ecosystems both outside and within the organization itself to create new solutions internally and alongside third parties, naturally exchanges knowledge, goods and services, and is always ready to discover other revenue channels.
Sectors in which most APIs are being developed
One of the most important categories is the banking and financial sector. It is one of the most productive fields in the creation of new APIs, largely due to the huge volume of customer data and the value of this information. In addition, the fintech sector has given a huge boost in the cultural change and launch of new digital products and services based on the APIs provided by banks, like BBVA, which have understood perfectly the power of the API economy.
BBVA API_Market has commercially launched eleven APIs in Spain (Customers, Accounts, Business Accounts, Business Notifications, Cards, Payments, Loans, Notifications, PayStats Download, Alipay, SEL), four in the USA market (Customers, Accounts, Cards and Payments) and another three in Mexico (Accounts, Auto Loans and Locations).
They are all APIs that use individuals' data - customers of the banking entity who have previously authorized their use -, except for Business Accounts and Business Notifications, which contain financial information on businesses; Alipay, which connects your business with the leading online payments company in China; and PayStats, which provides real-time card transactions data with aggregated and anonymized information.
In addition to the financial, there are other sectors with a significant production of APIs:
- Business and productivity
- Application development and development tools
- Big Data and data analysis
- Entertainment, lifestyle and education
- Health and the environment
- Mapping and location
- Cognitive computing
- Security and privacy
The Programmable Web directory not only has over 21,000 APIs indexed, it also has references of more than 14,000 SDKs (software development kits), over 1,600 libraries and more than 500 development frameworks.
These figures are a good benchmark for the level of growth that this API economy is experiencing; an economy which organizations will depend on in the future. They are the tell-tale signs of a revolution: converting companies and their business models into platforms that transform their relationships with the outside world, incorporating outside knowledge and driving new revenue channels.
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