API Integration: Digitalization means Real-time Integration
The digital shift is much more than just another trend: Already today, innovative enterprises earn billions with digital, data-based business models. All others have to catch up fast – when you lose out, you will fall behind the competition or have your business disrupted completely. Since 2000, 52% of companies in the Fortune 500 have either gone bankrupt, been acquired or ceased to exist.
Cloud services, e-Commerce, Mobile applications, real-time information: Digital technologies offer you enormous opportunities for new ways to generate value, and improve networking with partners, clients and target audiences. To be a successful digital business, one must have continuous integration of all involved areas, sharing data, providing services and performing transactions.
In this context, API integration is the key for digital shift – for connecting of people, processes, legacy and new systems and applications, devices, machines, data, and services, both in your company and across companies.
API Integration: Providing Data in a Secure Reliable Way
Production control, accounting, financial payment flows, warehouse management, sales, client and supplier networking, web shops, mobile applications: The business processes of your company are supported by different IT systems and applications, both internally and externally.
Mostly, multiple systems are involved in a process, and they interact with each other using Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). In general, APIs from a gateway provide selected system features in real time for usage by other applications.
API Integration: Actively designing disruption
Challenges in many industries
Regardless of your specific industry, the digital shift inevitably comes with substantial changes. Step by step, traditional business models are surpassed and eventually replaced by new ones. Digital commerce often requires a bundling of products, data, and services. The traditional roles of producers, retailers and operators have blurred – with new, often disruptive business models taking the lead.
API Integration enables to manage the speed of change
What’s special with this evolution of new business models is its speed of change. These new models are powered by an exponential growth of systems generating and processing data within industries and society. Driving the need for enterprises to act fast, flexibly, innovatively – and foremost: proactively. If you hesitate and react only when the government or client requirements force you to, you risk being part of the displaced businesses and another digital road kill.
API Integration: Sample Scenarios
Example Internet of Things (IoT):
On the IoT, data is everywhere – flowing from devices to the cloud, from the cloud to back-end systems, from users back to their devices – all enabled by APIs. API’s enable management of this flow of data with the security needed to protect sensitive information, and the performance required to support connected cars, connected homes, connected shopfloors and other Internet-connected “things.” They all depend on API integration!
Example Mobile App:
Mobile apps are used everywhere today, both for business and personal needs. Mobile applications enable a different level of flexibility, efficiency and productivity, providing a tighter integration between clients and partners. However, mobile apps need access to relevant corporate data for productive business usage. Business data is stored securely behind firewalls in business systems and databases. API integration plattforms enable secured and controlled sharing of the necessary data access from outside and thus make diverse mobile applications possible.
The Cloud offers enormous advantages including cost reduction, scalability and flexibility. However, if you want to make use of cloud services, you need to connect your own systems to them. For example, you must make sure the cloud-based CRM service like Salesforce is able to utilize existing client master data from the ERP system or any other internal application. Access to internal data has to take place in a secured and controlled way, due to sensitive data and business-critical systems. API integration is the answer to this!
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