Facebook’s billion dollar acquisition of Instagram is being touted as the harbinger of a major shift in computing from the desktop to mobile devices. It’s evident that mobile apps are the driving increasingly significant amounts of ecommerce, content, entertainment and other types of Web activity.
Perhaps a more important aspect of this, if a less flashy one, is the fact that the Instagram deal shows conclusively that the API economy has arrived. That an early stage business could achieve such remarkable growth and valuation by virtue of its API connectivity with Facebook and mobile platforms is a testament to the economic power of APIs.
As enterprises make applications available through APIs, they drive business growth and expose new opportunities for partnerships and customer interaction. The API in and of itself is becoming the tool which is creating economic situations for enterprises which previously had required planning, development and marketing plans that required months’ worth of time and resources. But the relatively quick development and implementation cycles of APIs mean that organizations are now able to collaborate more effectively with partners (and broaden the landscape of potential partners) and get solutions to customers in a consumable format.
The business landscape is being reshaped as dramatically as it was during the rush to create an Internet presence with a web site in the late 90s. APIs are becoming the primary way that businesses interact with their customers, reach new markets, and provide the global app development community with the tools to deliver innovative new business capabilities to customers. All hype aside, it’s worth remembering that an API is really a product. It needs to be thought of with the same rigor as any product. It is important that you identify the right business capability to expose as an API, the API is well designed and built, runs correctly, is well supported, and is promoted effectively. SOA Software makes this level of API management and governance a reality.
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