Why should I get excited as a non-technical person?
To better understand the value of an API business strategy, let’s circle back to 2002. That’s when Jeff Bezos dropped the now notorious API Manifesto to Amazon dev teams. It read:
The only communication allowed is via service interface calls over the network… All service interfaces, without exception, must be designed from the ground up to be externalizable. That is to say, the team must plan and design to be able to expose the interface to developers in the outside world. No exceptions.
Anyone who doesn’t [use APIs] will be fired. Thank you; have a nice day!
hat he was trying to say is this: If Amazon wants to innovate, we have to first improve the way we exchange data internally between one another. For that to happen, things need to get automated and reused.
Amazon first transformed their internal architecture into a collection of interconnected microservices, communicating via APIs, so that they could be easily externalized first across departments, then across products, and ultimately across all assets under Amazon’s control. Afterward, they went on to take over the external API economy (more on that in a moment).
But let’s keep it real: Not everyone can be as lean as Amazon and just crack their internal systems open like a bubbling can of Coke. Why? Two words: legacy architectures.
The average organization has 900 applications, and only 28% are currently integrated.
MuleSoft 2020 Connectivity benchmark report.
Benefits of internal APIs
Faster development. When standardized, internal APIs can speed up the development lifecycle for a variety of business apps or augment their existing capabilities. For example, an API sharing CRM data can be plugged in to all your marketing analytics apps, customer service products, and external POS systems — and even shared with an external logistics provider.
- Rapid scalability. APIs add modularity to your systems, meaning you can plug them in to any system whenever the need arises. This further increases development speed and overall business agility. 46% of teams using API-led integrations gained greater agility through self-service IT.
- Targeted automation. Menial and manual processes can be replaced with APIs so your apps and services communicate effectively without any point-to-point integrations.
- Streamlined traffic management.API Management solutions control the flow of data (act as load balancers) and prevent system overloads when multiple requests pour in.
- Ecosystem growth.Using APIs, you can enable communication between external and internal applications to support new partnerships and deploy new joint offerings to users.