As businesses make the shift into the digital age, many are starting to replace outdated computing software with new and improved applications that can suit the needs unique to their business, such as accounting and bill payments systems. However, this can be difficult when you need multiple software to accomplish daily tasks. This is where APIs come in.
What is an API?
API stands for Application Programming Interface, and it is a tool that allows two different software to integrate and work together in collaboration. Open APIs give external developers access to code that allows them to offer a software integration without limitations, while a partner API is when software pair together to offer specifically targeted integration solutions.
What advantages do APIs offer businesses?
They are cost effective.
Software development can often end up being very costly. However, the amount of money that could be spent to develop in-house solutions can be almost entirely avoided by integrating with software that already offer solutions to those same problems.
They are efficient.
Not only can software development end up costing a lot of money, it can also end up taking a lot of time. By using integrations instead of doing the development yourself, you can add to your software in hours what might take weeks to build yourself.
They can provide added security.
While a secure website or platform is always a must, integrations using APIs can provide an extra layer of security. A great example of this is that some platforms allow users to log in using Google or Facebook. By integrating with companies that have spent vast amounts of money to ensure secure logins, users can have that added security when logging in to your software.
They can provide easy customization options.
Every client is different, and therefore they have different needs. By offering a software with a good base and then using APIs to add integrations as needed, clients can receive the best product for the best price, all while saving time and money on development.
Now that we know what APIs are, and their benefits, why are they important?
The greatest importance of APIs is data. Businesses need to access data across all of their organization, which can prove to be a problem when you are using multiple software to complete different tasks. By using API integrations you can have all of your data in one secure location while not having to sacrifice the benefits of third-party software.
Disorganized data and disjointed software can often have a bigger impact on businesses than people may realize. Data collected in multiple places instead of collected all together often will not show a larger picture. Analytics provided by a single source of data are crucial to looking at a business as a whole, which is why now more than ever API integrations can be the key to unlocking the full potential of a business.