September 20, 2016

Is your company ready for API economy?

Markus Melin

Head of Tieto Security Services, Tieto

In the olden days, every company was extremely jealous of their own data. If somebody dared to suggest exposing it to the surrounding world even a bit, he/she would most likely have been sacked.

But the wind of change has started to blow. In the future, successful companies will be those who open up and share assets with their partners, customers, and collaborators. Sometimes, it even makes sense to share data with your competition!

Usually, when we speak about the digital economy we refer to the cloud – think Netflix, Airbnb, Uber and a host of similar digital darlings.

But it is not just about the cloud as such. Without collaboration, cloud is just a bunch of other people’s computers on a network.

Enter the API

This is where APIs take the center stage. These application programming interfaces give your company’s stakeholders a chance to connect with your assets and develop new solutions. This helps your business grow much faster than would have been possible if you had tried to do everything just by yourself.

For example, Google Maps opened their API to the developers in response to a great number of unofficial hacks that used the location service’s information. Now, Google Maps is used in over one million web sites, and numerous third party applications take advantage of information provided by the service.

Even with Google’s enormous resources, this kind of proliferation would have been unlikely to happen without giving an easy way for others to connect with the data.

Stronger together

The reason that makes API economy powerful is collaboration. When you open up your assets, it is the beginning of an ecosystem. The wider range your ecosystem has, the better chances you have to be successful.

And, as in the case of Google Maps API, the more developers you have hacking into your assets, the more likely you are to find business opportunities you couldn’t have even imagined yourself.

The greatest hurdle in entering the API economy is sticking to old protectionist ways.

It is difficult to let go of complete control and see how others take your data, play with it and use it to make something of their own – but the rewards more than make up for the discomfort.

As Gartner says, with APIs you’ll be able to turn your business into a platform and grow way beyond your original means. Open collaboration means that you have practically unlimited resources at your disposal.

Be brave. Give others access to your assets and take your company to the next level in digitalization.

In Tieto Security Services, we want to drive the idea of API-driven ecosystem forward. You can read more about our approach to security here.

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