API Economy is a term that is increasingly circulating in relevant media. Even our SMS Gateway can be integrated into existing systems as an API. Hence, we will take a closer look at the term and explain how your company can benefit from the API Economy.
What exactly is an API?
API stands for Application Programming Interface. This makes it possible not only to adapt applications to your individual needs, but also to integrate them into your own existing infrastructure.
What is API Economy?
API Economy describes the trend to exchange more and more data and functions using different APIs. Especially in the “Internet of Things” (IoT) this has already become standard. IoT, on the other hand, describes the increasing number of smart devices, from toasters to refrigerators to air conditioners. And especially, but not only, in this area APIs enable easy communication between different services and devices. In other words: No smart home would do without a series of APIs.
API Economy therefore means to build a system out of different APIs, whether self-programmed or from third-party providers, that turns your own service into something more. The interaction of different APIs makes it a platform.
APIs are the future
Why is that? By putting together your own IT structure from different, interacting APIs, you can not only pick the best out of the wide range of programs on offer. It is also possible to create a new overall structure through the interaction of different individual components, which then gives the company exactly what it needs. In this way, a company becomes a platform that can offer further services. Besides, the use of well-developed APIs from providers such as sms77 makes it possible to offer certain functions without having to write a dedicated program.
As mentioned above, various interacting APIs also form the basic infrastructure for “smart” home appliances and smart homes. And if we can believe the forecasts, in the relatively near future we will all live in such a smart home. So the API Economy is the future in multiple ways: it will affect both the Service Sector as well as our personal lives.
Examples for API Economy
Uber is a classic example for the integration of different apps into one platform. The company for example uses Google Maps via API to link its drivers and vehicles with passengers.
Netflix uses an API to offer its service on as many devices as possible.
However, the most obvious example at this point would be ourselves. sms77 is a CPaaS, a “Communications Platform as a Service”. Our customers use our API for a variety of purposes. From appointment reminders to server monitoring to two-factor authentication, there are no limits to the range of applications.
Zapier simplifies the interaction of different apps
We have already written several times about Zapier and the resulting simplified linking of several apps. Zapier has a database of available apps and acts as the supervisory framework. You can create simple and complex processes. First, an app or a function of an app is selected as the trigger. This can be, for example, a notification or an update, or an upcoming appointment. Then a second app is selected, which reacts to it. In the case of the sms77 app, this can then be a push notification on the smartphone. There are hardly any limits to creativity here.
See also our blog articles on this topic.
If your company is not yet working with APIs, you should definitely consider changing that. After all, this makes life a lot easier and takes a lot of work off the shoulders of your IT people. Your customers will benefit from a more advanced and comprehensive service. And the easy integration of an API allows you to offer better value to others.
Header picture by SasinParaksa via iStock.com, edited.