APIs can help you achieve things faster, save you money and enhance your business decisions. If you’re considering using an API program to help scale your business, read on.
Research shows that, over a four-year period, APIs can deliver 12.7% more growth in market capitalization for firms that use them, compared to those that don’t. Over a 16-year period, that growth extends to 38%.
APIs can help with a wide range of business operations. If you have a product or service and are looking into API adoption, there’s plenty to consider. We’ve detailed some of the benefits below, along with some of the challenges, to help you establish whether adopting an API program makes sound business sense.
Benefits of an API Program?
APIs enable new use cases and customizations, whether your users are internal or external. As the above statistics indicate, they can also be an excellent source of revenue while supporting business growth.
One reason for this is that it’s fairly easy to monetize APIs and get paid. You can bill your customers based on how many times they call your API or on a range of other, more granular factors. Building monetization into your thinking at an early stage can help to shape your API program and ensure that you create a bulletproof strategy.
“We were soon able to start billing our customers for API usage and it quickly became a revenue generator for us.” Paul Fung, API GM at NexHealth, from their case study.
Another benefit of APIs is that your customers are developers, not end users. This means that they’re making decisions from an architectural perspective. Your APIs can quickly become deeply ingrained into your customers’ operations, enabling you to scale rapidly. And once your APIs are integrated, the fact that such architectures can be hard to detangle means that your customers should stick around for the long haul – provided that you deliver a great developer experience.
It’s also true that APIs tend to accelerate a product’s go-to-market. Part of that is because you don’t need to expend any effort on the User Interface (UI), because there usually isn’t one. APIs tend to be headless products, slotting into the customer’s backend, rather than needing a UI.
This means that you can focus your engineering effort on building differentiated business logic. Through your API, you’re providing a building block for a developer to adopt best-in-class business logic to fulfill certain functions. By not expending resources providing a UI for your customer to use your product, you’ll use your engineering resources more cost-effectively to deliver maximum value.
Every new business venture or approach has its challenges. Introducing an API program is no exception.
While you don’t need to expend effort on delivering a UI as part of your API, you will need to invest time and energy into producing documentation. You will need to document standards, guidelines, patterns, recommendations and more, all in a user-friendly fashion. That requires a technical resource who can write engaging content.
This is all part of delivering a great customer experience, which, along with superb customer service, is essential to ensuring you don’t get a bad reputation when it comes to your API program.
The other resource you’ll need is an evangelist – someone who can sell the concept of API adoption and the value of the API program to internal stakeholders. It can take time to bring everyone up to speed and gain their buy-in, so the sooner you can start evangelizing, the better.
“Be patient when building your API program. Be empathetic to others who don’t see things the same way that you do – try to build bridges to help them understand. Have a vision and work towards it.” Jeannie Hawrysz, Lead API Architect, SAS from our podcast.
APIs are immensely versatile, suiting a huge range of verticals and business models. The FinTech and HealthTech sectors in particular have been quick to grasp their potential. This means that security is paramount, with HIPAA/SOC2/ISO27001 compliance high on the agenda for enterprises in these sectors. It also means that there are plenty of API products and tools out there that deliver this level of compliance and accreditation – so you can sleep easy when it comes to security concerns.
Harnessing the Power of APIs
A well-considered and implemented API program can enable new applications and go-to-market strategies. Complementing your APIs with powerful API analytics and tools can then ensure you activate, understand and monetize customers fully.
If you’re ready to explore what an API program could do for your business, and how to get maximum value out of it, it’s time to talk to Moesif.