The next seven years are critical in executing actions to pursue the efforts to limit the rise in global temperature. The 2050 climate targets depend on actions on managing consumption based on waste reduction concepts and scaling up green energy production.
The sustainable transition powers all industries and society in this quest. Organizations can actively contribute through sustainable digital transformation by integrating the average thousand different applications with a composable-oriented strategy.
Let’s explore the APIs contributions to reducing resource waste through viable integration and outlines several concrete actions organizations can take to achieve a green, composable future.
How can APIs reduce the waste of resources
APIs are a critical component of modern software development and provide standard ways for different software applications and systems to communicate and exchange data. APIs can support sustainability through four main ways to reduce resource consumption.
It’s essential to ensure that data is shared efficiently without duplicating effort or resources when multiple applications and systems rely on the same data. The consumption can decrease in this way across multiple systems and entire architectures through the specific API standard mechanisms to access data and resources. This approach also helps improve data accuracy and consistency across various applications.
APIs can support your organization’s sustainability also through the reduction of the need for manual data entry and by limiting the risk of human error. APIs can automate data exchange between systems, reducing data entry gates and increasing data accuracy. Systems, in this case, can be anything from a spreadsheet to a complex enterprise application. Integrating them through APIs and automation, you support minimizing waste, ensuring that resources generate efficient business value.
Another aspect you can consider contributing to a more sustainable integration strategy is the reusability of the existing APIs within your organization. You avoid building the same kind of integration every time you need to consume variance of data from systems previously connected in other integration projects.
You can invoke the available APIs for shared services, or data extraction implemented once to the most commonly used application or enterprise systems. Even for APIs outside your organization, there are methodologies to invoke once and consume multiple times. This approach reduces the waste of resources required to develop each new application and ensures consistent functionality and data across various applications. You also generate improved business value and increased agility for the organization to build and innovate fast new applications using existing integration elements.
API optimization from a resource consumption perspective is also essential to sustainable actions. You can optimize the API implementation by minimizing the payload transmitted between systems. You reduce thus the amount of data that needs to be processed and stored for the same or similar type of transactions and sets of output parameters. This approach can help minimize the amount of processing power required to execute requests, contributing to reducing the amount of energy consumed by data centers and network traffic.
In the following sections, we explore several methods to concretely achieve waste reduction and increase the digital assets’ reusability using API-led integration approach.
Ways to achieve sustainable integration
You build a holistic plan that focuses also on deployment and operationalization of sustainable integration based on APIs. The method involves managing the API’s end-to-end lifecycle, from business necessity and design to deployment, consumption, and value return. The plan outlines the resources required to create, implement, and maintain the API and the potential impact on the environment during the operation cycle, especially around the payload size and the number of API invocations at a particular time.
You can also have the composability component of your business approach as part of the defined strategy. You create new models quickly and simply by fusing various software elements for defined business values. As with building blocks, the same bricks you can use to build multiple structures according to your market and organization’s reality and culture.
Such a move decreases the environmental impact of developing new software from scratch while saving budgets. Your business can thus lower the carbon footprint and the amount of waste produced by employing pre-existing software packages and fostering balanced digital infrastructure usage.
Once you establish the direction through the outlined plan, the next critical step is the adoption of API-led approaches. Such a tactic enables you to design and develop APIs before implementing the integration with the underlying systems. Your organization focuses thus on creating consistent and well-documented APIs that can be first tested by technology teams and validated by the business teams before actually implementing the integration within the technical systems.
Another benefit you can unlock through this method is identifying the organization’s potential business and environmental value before spending resources to implement the full integration. Thus, you can update the APIs more efficiently and with less disruption, using less resources and reducing waste by avoiding refactoring the integration implementation.
One aspect of the holistic integration plan must be the protection against security incidents and data breaches. Your organization can lower the risk of cyberattacks and safeguard the IT systems and data by implementing strong security measures for APIs, such as authentication, encryption, and monitoring. APIs allow controlled and secure access to data and services across various platforms and systems. This way, you improve security and support sustainable IT infrastructure and business practices by lowering the need for energy-intensive recovery procedures and reducing the environmental effects of security incidents.
You can additionally consider automation and Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS) as part of the API integration and composable business models to achieve net-zero operations. You can automate repetitive tasks to help your business use less energy and produce less carbon dioxide. Additionally, using iPaaS enables your organization to be more cost and time effective in integrating various software applications.
APIs enable technology towards more sustainable and responsible utilization by reducing the waste of resources on various dimensions. API consumption, supporting reusability, and lowering the need for manual data processing contribute to this goal. Specific steps assist you in unlocking the full potential of a sustainable integration approach.
Call to action for a green, composable future
Achieving sustainable integration is not just about implementing the right technology. It requires a holistic approach that likewise considers the business needs and the organization’s ability to deliver and manage your integration strategy and holistic plan.
The first universal step you take focuses on lining up any integration needs and scope with the sustainable strategic objectives of the company. This step ensures that the integration project produces real business benefits, such as more revenue, lower costs coupled with environmental impact, or higher customer satisfaction.
This strategy lessens the chance of funding technological endeavors that conflict with sustainable organizational goals and wastes resources, potentially negatively impacting the environment. Setting priorities of business goals and compossibility are part of concrete actions you can consider taking:
- Define and align the integration scope and requirements with the organization’s strategic goals and sustainability objectives.
- Identify key performance indicators (KPIs) that measure the integration impact on sustainability, such as reduced energy consumption or waste reduction through reusability.
- Prioritize initiatives with the most significant sustainability and business impact, such as reducing the usage of physical resources.
The integration initiative’s technical components, such as adherence to composable architecture, design, development, testing, and deployment, demonstrate the next holistic step. The approach lowers the need for reworking and rebuilding integration assets by prioritizing scalability, security, and reliability to guarantee that the technological solution is sustainable for future changes. The main actions you can consider in this area can be:
- Perform environmental impact analysis of the technical solution for the initiative, accounting for elements like energy consumption and carbon emissions based on the integration usage.
- Use green IT strategies to reduce energy use, such as virtualization techniques and energy-efficient hardware for the on-premise integration solutions and operations-oriented reusability and fault reduction processes.
- Keep improving API-led connectivity architecture, as you can reduce the organization’s carbon footprint by using fewer resources to maintain the IT infrastructure. Developing a scalable and reusable connectivity layer reduces energy consumption and can imply the rationalization of redundant systems and processes through integration.
The ultimate significant step you consider is the enhancement of the organizational capabilities and competencies to support the integration initiative’s continuing operation and maintenance.
Such an approach reduces reliance on outside resources for continuous support and maintenance by developing your organization’s essential capabilities and skills. The result focuses on increased awareness of sustainable goals based on your organization’s culture and sustainability strategy and you achieve through the below steps:
- Design and implement change management and adoption programs for your organization to develop and enable sustainable development-associated skills as a component of the integration initiatives, including green API development and operation procedures.
- Create and roll out governance frameworks and guidelines that support viable integration, including tools to enable your employees to adopt the frameworks and consume the integration envisioned by the sustainable plan.
- Monitor and measure the defined indicators as part of the governance framework and actively conduct assessments to improve the consumption of the developed integration assets as well as the reusability of those into other projects across your organization
Your organization can achieve sustainable integration using API-led initiatives that are effective, efficient, and environmentally responsible by adhering to these measures. You ensure that integration efforts are long-lasting by considering an API’s whole lifecycle and adoption of proactive actions to reduce waste and encourage reuse as part of the composable business strategy you put in place.