System integration and API: primary tools for your business in the digital age

By Daniela Samà 3 years agoNo Comments
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The global context we live in is imposing on individual organizations the need to:

  • Rapidly exploit new opportunities for synergies;
  • consolidate their own ability to compete in the market;
  • create new competitive advantage;
  • deliver integrated services with added value.

This is leading companies to focus on the two essential drivers of Digital Transformation, i.e. openness and connection, and this creates two symmetrical needs:

  1. The first need is to build collaborations with third parties in a way that is simple, fast, secure, effective and with minimum use of resources.
  2. The second is the increasingly frequent need to integrate the main company functions with third party platforms.

This process is modifying the value chain and shifting companies’ focus from competing for a slice of market share to redefining the market itself.

Every new step in this direction begs the question of how to connect data flows and applications with the existing ecosystem. So what is fast becoming one of the major decision criteria in the process of Software Procurement is the ability to interconnect and exchange data (between the new technological solutions to be adopted and the various environments and applications already operating in the company).

The notion of “digital ecosystem” introduces into ICT a concept that in biology identifies a community and a physical environment inside of which interactions and exchanges take place in dynamic equilibrium.

According to a study from Accenture Technology Vision 2017, conducted by interviewing 5,400 company managers and IT executives throughout the world, the top trends for the coming years include a growing tendency in companies to create ecosystems. 75% of the interviewees agreed that their own competitive edge will not be determined just by their own organization but by the strength of the partners and ecosystems they choose.

This need for integration, especially within company IT systems, has always been present in IT departments. The proliferation in recent years of Cloud, Mobility, Social, AI, Big Data and IoT has led to the need to implement existing technologies while supporting continuous connection with new applications and systems.

It is not surprising that 27% of the interviewees stated that digital ecosystems are transforming the way their own companies provide value.

Suppliers of services are becoming new strategic partners to be taken into consideration for offering increasingly relevant solutions to the market.

For this reason, many businesses have adopted APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) as a major technological means to simplify integration of data and functionalities among the various vertical systems and applications, providing enormous benefits for end users.

In IT, the acronym API stands for Application Programming Interface, but in the Business world it means much more: it is a strategic component of Digital Transformation. APIs are simple but very powerful lines of code that enable the integration of applications and information to the benefit of all company functions.

Where the real potential of APIs lies is in the possibility of becoming a fundamentally important element for creating new business models, based on interactions among a company, its functions, its partners and its customers. Many sectors have begun to adopt these tools and through digital disruption are creating new revenue streams that are more substantial than traditional products/services (for example, Uber). For this reason, we are beginning to hear talk of an actual API Economy.

APIs are a means for companies to extract more value from their digital assets by making them relevant for a wider range of users (also outside the organization), in this way extracting further value in a way that is progressive and incremental. This value no longer comes from the applications but from the interfaces that enable:

  • Automation of company processes;
  • Increased collaboration internally and externally;
  • More efficient processes;
  • Creation of new services and new business models.

APIs allow businesses to reconsider their company assets in terms of synergies, to look at channels in a fresh way and to perceive potential partnerships with others while developing integration among applications and exchanges of data in a controlled and secure way.

Although they were conceived as a “technical” tool, APIs are taking on a role in digital transformation that goes well beyond a purely technological context to become drivers for business and innovation.

“API thinking” is becoming a way to support the process of digital transformation by creating new models and new relationship dynamics even within traditional sectors and markets.

This is why we have decided to create and release our APIs, to simplify the sharing and use of brand and product data and digital assets that clients have collected and organized inside the CHALCO Brandlife suite, to be available for all possible channels, users and initiatives.

If you are looking for a PIM/DAM/PCM solution that is open and flexible and a strategic partner for Digital Transformation, contact us!

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    About Hyphen-UK

    We work with businesses on the road to digitisation.
    We are convinced that technology is a necessary but insufficient tool to create real value for customers.

    Our work is born from the analysis of the current state of the organisation and the resulting strategic framework that outlines a path for bespoke change management which focuses on improving procedures and processes that feed its communications, promotions, and multi-channel sales. Finally, we identify and develop software best suited to the specific needs of the client and the market of operation.

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