How APIs Accelerate Innovation

Prior to APIs, integrating two or more disparate software systems could take weeks, if not months, and was generally a hurdle to innovation, rather than a facilitator.

November 4, 2019

Developers initially used Advanced Programming Interfaces (APIs) to more efficiently connect disparate outside software with the software systems underpinning businesses. Prior to APIs, integrating two or more disparate software systems could take weeks, if not months, and was generally a hurdle to innovation, rather than a facilitator.

An API’s basic value lies in its ability to allow one set of software to speak to another set, either within a company or externally. In the latter case, the API interacts with and leverages the software platforms of both companies for mutual benefit. This is the case even if that software was written in a different programming language, and also enables two sets of software to connect digital assets such as databases and apps, for example.

This simplicity allows for developers to create connections between software without necessarily needing to understand the inevitably more complicated base architectures of the systems they’re unifying.

Liberating Developers from the Command Line
APIs unlock the full potential of developers’ creativity. Liberated from the complexities of needing to understand the underlying system they’re connecting to, developers can apply a full range of creative program design to craft truly innovative products and services.

Since the stated customer-centric focus of many businesses is to continuously delight their customers (too often honored in the breach), developers need the tools to concept new products and digital experiences which in turn assure customer loyalty as well as create new revenue channels.

Open Your Heart To Me – Forging Effective Partnerships Through APIs
Two companies deciding to work together is easy to imagine, but can be frustratingly difficult to pull off, especially when it involves the synthesis of disparate software platforms. In fact, the complexity of that integration can often prove the deal-breaker for a potential partnership. APIs facilitate that process immensely, allowing the systems of two wholly separate organizations to communicate with each other and share important information.

The most forward-looking organizations open up their API portals and allow partners to easily access their digital assets. Some APIs are so successful that an entire ecosystem of iterative development forms around them, as they provide the nucleus for a whole new layer of innovation.

Building Blocks vs. Monolithic Code
APIs additionally accelerate innovation by creating a level playing field, a standardized portal through which developers can create. Important components of a good API are standardized interfaces, simplicity of design, version control, well-supported documentation and easy-to-use developer tools, among other attributes.

Standardization facilitates innovation in other ways, too. Since APIs are individually packaged chunks of code — as opposed to one long giant block — they lend a mix-and-match quality to the software integration process that allows for a building-block-like ability to execute parallel development of software, simultaneously, accelerating innovation.
This standardization also sets the stage to perform regular analytics on the APIs, the results of which in turn help organizations innovate, improve and iterate faster.

Ready to Turn on a Dime
As market conditions, customer preferences and other external factors evolve, companies need to respond quickly. The plug-and-play nature of APIs allow companies to adjust to these needs without cumbersome software updates that slow innovation and give an advantage to competitors.

Most organizations also host an agglomeration of different software systems, SaaS platforms and other legacy systems. As needs change, APIs allow organizations to quickly plug in software when and where it’s needed most.

DRC APIs – Accelerating Innovation
DRC’s robust, comprehensive API Library allows insurers to individually deploy, adjust and redeploy modules without impacting the entire policy administration system. Compared to the slow roll-out and frequent error messages that stem from basic APIs, dynamic DRC APIs increase the quality of the data, the customer experience and the overall success of the partnership. Dynamic DRC APIs are available now to seamlessly move data among disparate systems and build use cases for further investment in dynamic APIs across the digital business platform.