API shifts are the new hotness when it comes to building and growing your business. API stands for Application Programming Interface, which is a set of rules and data formats that software can read and write to. Any company that has an online presence is going to have an API. Whether you’re planning on creating one or already have one, it’s important to understand what an API shift means for your business. An API shift is a change in how businesses integrate their services. It can refer to any number of different factors, but the general concept is that companies will move away from integrating their services manually through traditional APIs and towards fully automating service integration using APIs instead.
## What is an API?
APIs are what allow a company’s product or service to communicate with other products and services. For example, if you have an online store and want to put a product list on your website, you’ll need an API that your digital assistant can talk to. When someone makes a request for your content, your digital assistant will respond and make the product show up on their screen.
APIs usually have a set of rules on how they work and what data they handle. This allows companies to create custom integrations that work with the rest of their products and services rather than manually, which saves time and money.
How Does an API Shift Work?
API shifts are the change in how companies build their APIs. In the past, companies would create one API that would pull in data from multiple other sources. These sources would be manually maintained, which was time-consuming and expensive.
With an API shift, companies will begin to use their APIs to pull data from outside sources and then send that data to their integrated systems using an Automated API. This automation makes the process much more efficient.
As a result, companies will no longer have to manually create, maintain, and update their APIs. Instead, they can focus on creating new features and developing their business, while the AI or another computer handles the API integration.
Benefits of an API Shift
- Increased Customer Engagement: With a single automated API, a company can build customer experiences based on data from any of their products. For example, if your company has a product that helps people plan trips, you might be able to create an AI-enabled experience that helps customers plan trips according to their interests.
- Improved Business Agility: After a shift, companies don’t have to spend time managing their existing APIs and developing new ones. This frees up valuable resources to focus on specific areas of the business.
- Reduced Development Costs: With an automated API, companies don’t have to hire additional staff to create and maintain APIs. Instead, they can use resources that are already part of their organization.
- Faster Time to Market: With an automated API, companies don’t have to spend time building APIs and then manually integrating them. They can use their existing technology to ramp up quickly.
Limitations of a Standard API
While APIs can automate the process of creating new digital experiences, they can’t replace the need for human-to-human engagement.
Companies will still need to hire teams of developers to create unique user experiences. However, when combining data from different products and services, these teams can use machine learning technology to automate the tasks.
With an automated API, a company’s digital assistant can receive customer requests, look at their profile and determine what they’re interested in, and send the request to the right person’s desk-based system.
An automated API allows a person to be more efficient and get the job done without having to think about the technical details. This can reduce the gap between teams and make it easier for people to communicate and collaborate.
An Example of a Shifting Company
If you’ve ever used Uber, you’ve used an API. Every time you requested a car, you’ve used Uber’s API to get rate estimates and book the ride.
The company created this API to make it easier for consumers to request a ride, but they also make money by charging drivers a commission for each ride they complete.
At the same time, drivers rely on the Uber API to get rates and booking requests so they can make a living. As the two groups start to use the API differently and with different goals, this will create new business opportunities.
TIP: Test and Track Your APIs
Many API shifts happen because companies want to automate their APIs but don’t have the technology in place to make automation happen. To make sure that your APIs are ready for a shift in how they work, consider using the following three-step process:
- Test your APIs.
- Track your APIs.
- Automate your APIs.
Testing your APIs makes sure that they’re ready for automation. This means that you’ve tested the external sources of data, you’ve tested the rules that your APIs use, and you’ve tested the data format that your APIs send and receive.
Tracking your APIs makes it easier to see what your company’s APIs do and who’s using them. You can use a number of different tools and services to track your APIs, including Splunk, Zendesk, and GitHub.
Automating your APIs puts them in place for automation. If your company uses AWS, this is as simple as setting up a bucket with the correct permissions and an Access Key.
How to Track and Optimize Your APIs
Once you’ve made the shift to an automated API, it’s important to track and optimize it. This will help you to see what’s happening with your API and help you to make adjustments.
There are a number of ways that you can track your APIs, including using Splunk, Zendesk, and tools from AWS, Microsoft, and Google. When evaluating these tools and services, it’s important to look at what data you want to track, how often you want to update that data, and how much it will cost.
When it comes to optimizing your APIs, this means testing and iterating on your automation scripts. This way, you can make sure that your automation is working as intended and that it’s delivering the right level of service to your customers.