The path to digital transformation is never a smooth one, with most enterprises facing some serious house cleaning before they achieve their desired future state. Typically, we focus our efforts on the legacy systems and non-cloud-native applications holding us back. Rarely do we place APIs in this category.
Long the savior of IT teams around the world, APIs have helped us simplify integrations, support communication between systems, and liberate applications from siloed, monolithic architecture. While impressive (and imperative) capabilities for the enterprise, APIs bring their own legacy challenges to the table.
To ensure the success of your enterprise integration strategy, the modernization of APIs must be a part of the plan.
What is an API?
APIs were conceived to make the connection of hardware independent programs possible. The technology enables different software components to communicate with each other, serving as a software interface.
The technology uses a set of definitions and protocols to enable communication between programs. For example, the app a retail customer uses on their phone to shop relies on an API to connect and communicate with the retailer’s website for updates.
Originally created for end-user-facing programs, today APIs work with utility software and hardware interfaces, libraries, frameworks, operating systems, as well as remote and web APIs.
Regardless if the IT infrastructure is legacy, modern, or in a state of transition, it’s likely the business relies on APIs in some form to support connectivity.
The Pros of API
Successful businesses are API-led. And many organizations that are not yet quite API-led aspire to be. These companies recognize the value of a truly connected enterprise where data connects seamlessly with applications, supporting interoperability and innovation. Here are just a few ways that APIs benefit the business:
Amazing customer experiences:
APIs accelerate data uploads, reducing website response times to placate finicky and impatient end users. Customer information (historical, preferences, recent interactions) is easily accessed for a personalized experience every time.
Resources and cost efficiencies:
Instead of developing applications from the ground up, APIs allow developers to use existing reusable frameworks to build new apps, saving time and money.
Composite APIs enable developers from outside the organization to easily integrate with the company’s products and services. Access to data is seamless while time-consuming coding and development work is averted.
API data integration for legacy infrastructure:
APIs are especially helpful for organizations with legacy systems, applying logic to older formats (CSV, COBOL, etc.) to make them compatible with more modern ones.
The Cons of APIs
With so much upside, it’s no surprise that IT, developers, and citizen integrators have embraced APIs. However, the popularity of the technology has become its downfall, with API proliferation resulting in growing interdependencies that increase in complexity over time.
This leads to an ever-expanding body of unstructured and difficult-to-maintain source code. Often built in the minute to resolve an immediate need, many APIs use custom code to create point-to-point integrations. At a small scale, this is manageable, but over time, as new custom API integrations are built and software developers move on, the business quickly loses track of the underlying structure.
The result is an overworked development team that spends significant amounts of time untangling code and rebuilding existing integrations. Based on Digibee’s most recent enterprise integration survey, 98.5% of respondents rebuilt up to 10 integrations every year.
This traditional API approach to integration impedes the agility and dynamism of the company, attributes that are foundational to the digital transformation initiatives so many enterprises need in order to evolve and succeed.
How Digibee Optimizes Enterprise API Integration
Our iPaaS technology easily resolves the mess created by API point-to-point integrations and custom coding, including for internal APIs as well as connections to partner APIs. Digibee customers benefit from a richer depth of integration capabilities, including:
- Rapid API creation and lifecycle management
- A low-code, visual interface to abstract integration complexity
- Ready-to-use components that reduce task completion time
- Scalability and resilience via new capabilities such as Kubernetes
- Data security across hybrid environments based on user roles, encryption tools and privileged credentials
- Accelerated timelines to free developers to focus on innovative and digital transformation initiatives
APIs aren’t going away anytime soon, nor should they. We recognize the value that APIs deliver to the organization and we believe that within a modern IT infrastructure, iPaaS and APIs will coexist.
And while APIs have become so widely adopted, it’s not a one size fits all tool. Individuals and teams work with specific APIs and not others — and have strong and informed opinions on how and where APIs should be used. In our work with enterprises across different industries and geographies, it’s not uncommon for developers and system architects to have established preferences. Digibee can match you with specific API vendors we regularly partner with. Conversely, to cater to our users’ preferences we foster a “bring your own API” approach to enterprise integration that ensures continuity between the legacy and modern landscapes.
Digibee’s iPaaS solution makes it easy for your IT and developer teams to create a connected and interactive enterprise environment. Our low-code, intuitive interface simplifies the integration process so developers of any skill level can create integrations that support the digital transformation initiatives imperative to the success of your organization.
Our 2023 State of Enterprise Integration Report provides hard data supporting the importance of integration to businesses across multiple industries. Download your complimentary copy today or book a no-obligation demo to see our solution in action.