Application Programming Interfaces, or APIs, may represent a key to success and substantial cost savings for companies of all sizes, but especially for small businesses and startups. These tools can help reduce company overhead and cut costs in surprising ways.
APIs manage the interactions between applications and control access to a company’s digital data. Using APIs and access to a company’s digital assets, developers can build mobile and desktop applications.
Standard APIs have been built around tasks such as internal reporting and performance tracking. Now, many startup companies have embraced APIs and their ability to support rapid growth. But startups aren’t the only companies that can benefit from using APIs.
APIs provide many capabilities that nimble startups have embraced and traditional companies should not ignore. These include:
- The ability to create applications using a partner’s data
- The ability to share data quickly and easily
- The ability to use partner data without fear of corruption
- The ability to interact with a partner’s data to create unique products and tools
- Access to a large network of application developers looking for opportunities to use company data assets to create new tools
- The opportunity for mutually beneficial data and application sharing
APIs have evolved from a tool that traditionally was used to build applications for a specific platform to a tool that now allows third-party developers flexibility across a variety of platforms. This allows companies that use specific tools to leverage third-party APIs to customize functionality.
Several companies have employed APIs to get the information they need without creating or sourcing it on their own. Uber is a prime example. The company employed APIs to connect to the tools it needed, including billing and mapping functionality, a move which saved both time and capital.
APIs allow companies to access tools and implement functionality that they don’t have the ability to create in-house. This is an equalizing force for small businesses that don’t have the resources of their larger counterparts.
Many APIs exist to solve a variety of problems and meet a long list of a company’s needs, including APIs that address billing and payment systems or Web plug-ins for chat functionality. APIs can also aid in non-technology functions, like identifying trends and keywords that are useful in marketing campaigns.
APIs are small tools with the potential to have a big impact. By filling in resource gaps and creating efficiencies, APIs have the potential to save companies money and cut costs. Those efficiencies and cost savings can ultimately lead to quicker time to market and a more level playing field for small companies trying to keep up with larger, established businesses.
Contact us to learn more about how APIs can streamline your operations and accelerate your journey to success.