Business

What Is an API and Why They Are Important For Business

Application program interfaces are the bridges we need to bring the connectedness we value in everyday life more seamlessly into the business realm.

One of the most valuable components of the human experience is connection. Connection comes in all shapes and sizes. It can be interpersonal and intrapersonal, and it can take us from one state to another, making previously inaccessible things open to us.

Connection is so important that we’ve implemented it into nearly everything we touch. In business, it’s a key component of almost every process. As the world becomes less connected physically but increasingly connected digitally, the importance of connection within the business world is growing.

In business, communicating and sharing information across different programs and from one team to another is highly valuable. It can be the difference between a made sale and a lost one and can ultimately translate to overall success or failure.

Today, we’re going to discuss one of the essential tools that businesses have at their disposal to preserve their own interconnectedness for more streamlined processes and boosted chances for success: the API.

Why Do Businesses Need Internal Connection?

An application program interface, or an API, is one of the most foundational tools for interconnectedness within a business. In modern times, it’s common for businesses to use many different types of systems, programs, and technologies in any given department.

For example, many marketing and customer service departments will depend on a CRM or a customer relationship management system. Marketing teams can also use a wide array of marketing software specific to email marketing, social media marketing, and other advertising campaigns.

Beyond that, other project management software and data or document management systems also have prominent roles in all kinds of businesses. These programs are useful within their given departments. Still, the data they contain could often enrich business processes and save time and effort if it could be easily shared between departments.

This problem is commonly referred to as siloing. Even those not familiar with farming terminology will recognize the tall structures used for storing grain and corn. In similar ways, siloing in business uses boundaries that impede the flow of information between multiple groups or systems.

How Do APIs Solve Siloing?

APIs are specially designed to intervene in and alleviate the lack of internal connectedness within businesses and business processes. Essentially, APIs are programs that bridge the gap between two sectors that would otherwise remain unconnected.

For example, if a company employs two different systems to complete various tasks that use the same information, an API could bridge the two systems and allow them to interact. This streamlines processes and can save time, effort, and money. 

APIs have a place in the internal aspects of businesses and in many of the front-end parts of companies that consumers interact with. In our increasingly digitally driven world, apps use APIs to facilitate payments and GPS direction mapping, and more.

Similarly, APIs can work to connect a company’s marketing efforts so that its advertising campaigns on one social media platform are not alienated from but rather integrated into its campaigns on another platform. APIs enable companies to work smarter and not harder.

What Kinds of Businesses Can Benefit From APIs?

Because of the critical and foundational benefits they provide, APIs can seem at first like solutions only available to large companies with lots of funding. Although complicated APIs can be built to manage just about any connection or flow of information, they are especially valuable for smaller companies.

For start-ups and rapidly growing ventures, sometimes it takes far too much time to develop and implement their own site, service, or platform. APIs are unique because they allow companies to utilize pre-built platforms or services and integrate them into their network. This is precisely what platforms such as Uber and Twitter have done to improve their customer services.

As we’ve mentioned before, internal APIs are also extremely valuable for companies when it comes to managing customer relationships and marketing data. Streamlined processes that keep up to date with changing customer preferences and needs are a surefire way to grow customer loyalty, and APIs are the most efficient way to stay on top of all of that data.

Reasons Why Your Company Should Use an API

Out of all the reasons we’ve talked about, let’s boil down the main points of why an API can be a terrific investment for your company.

First of all, it saves time, effort, and money in allowing companies to arrive at solutions more quickly and efficiently. Instead of building their solutions from scratch, companies can utilize already available means and keep up with competitors.

Secondly, APIs build bridges. They give companies access to technology that would otherwise be out of their grasp or beyond their ability to use within a heavily siloed system.

Lastly, APIs help companies build brand loyalty by providing quick, easy, and elevated services for customers in a digital age when quick and easy service has become the baseline of customer expectation. APIs allow companies to go above and beyond.

Final Thoughts

Application program interfaces are the bridges we need to bring the connectedness we value in everyday life more seamlessly into the business realm. If your company struggles to provide streamlined services for customers or internally, then implementing an API could be your perfect solution. 

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