API-led connectivity is a holistic way to connect data to applications through reusable, built-for-purpose APIs. Unlike point-to-point approaches to integration, API-led connectivity is premised on the discoverability, self-service, and reuse of well-designed, well-managed APIs.
Businesses in every industry have received numerous benefits to adopting an API-led approach to connectivity, rather than the usual point-to-point approach. Here are the top five benefits to adopting API-led connectivity:
1. A painless transition to the cloud
Our recent Connectivity Benchmark Report reveals that 81% of IT decision makers say moving to the cloud is “very important” to their business, but the transition isn’t always easy, particularly with legacy systems. US retailer Sur La Table found that a key benefit of API-led connectivity was to move from on-premises systems to a cloud infrastructure, and then to use that infrastructure to experiment and innovate faster. With the API-led connectivity, Sur La Table is now able to move from prototype to production 3-4x faster than with their previous point-to-point integration methods.
2. Expanding your global presence
Addison Lee is a London-based car service, transporting millions of passengers per year. To expand into new markets globally, the company used API-led connectivity to unlock their data and infrastructure in order to accommodate the necessary systems. “API-led connectivity is key to our growth aspirations,” says Addison Lee’s CTO, Peter Ingram.
3. Constructing your infrastructure to accommodate record growth
Spotify, the music streaming service, has been fortunate to experience unprecedented growth in the last few years, but that has also meant the siloing of systems and duplication of work. Spotify is using an API-led approach to connectivity to deploy reusable APIs and microservices––enabling them to both expedite application development and integrate existing systems, including data warehouses and ERP.
4. Giving sales reps real-time access to customer information
Our Connected Consumer Report shows that a critical competitive differentiator between companies in many industries is how quickly they can respond to customer inquiries. The slower a business is to respond, the more likely a prospective customer is to abandon the business. So the real-time transmission of information can mean the difference between making a sale and, well, not. Application monitoring company New Relic found that an important benefit of API-led connectivity is being able to provide real-time information about prospective customers to their field sales team, process large volumes of Salesforce data, and connect that data securely to Amazon RDS. This gives sales teams real-time access to essential customer information, as opposed to having to look through disparate systems to find what they need.
5. Creating an omnichannel customer experience.
Apparel retailer GANT saw a lost revenue opportunity when stock was not available to their website’s shoppers. However, they found it difficult to optimize inventory data and enable collection in stores due to siloed data in disparate systems. GANT benefited from API-led connectivity by creating reusable APIs to connect those systems. With API-led connectivity, GANT was able to launch its online inventory product in a matter of weeks and better realize their omnichannel initiatives.
The benefits of API-led connectivity and the agility and speed that it can provide have produced dramatic business outcomes in industries as disparate as retail, high tech, and transportation. Take a look at how API-led connectivity has enabled digital transformation in numerous other companies, and learn how it could benefit your business.