Virtualization Technology News and Information
Why APIs? How the Interface Can Help Organizations Meet Disruption

By Borya Shakhnovich

It's very common for an app to shift industry standards and customer expectations overnight. As a result of this, agility has become a core facet of maintaining business continuity. Implementing tools that allow businesses to withstand the force of industry disruptors remain top of mind for executive decision-makers. While not new, Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) give companies the ability to be more agile, save some cash, and consistently meet customer expectations without compromising security, compliance, or business continuity.  But what best practices can businesses apply to APIs to make the most of their numerous benefits?

To start, let's identify a few of the key value propositions for API use:

  • Integration: In a post-Facebook world, it seems every business has adopted their old mantra of "move fast and break things." Industry standards can change quickly, new trends emerge and redefine established byways all the time. APIs give enterprises that may otherwise lack the freedom to capitalize on new trends, the opportunity to apply and test new functions quickly. APIs are easily integrated into existing architecture (relative to building out an entirely new application), reducing time to market and increasing company agility.
  • Innovation: APIs give businesses the agility to innovate quickly, making it easier for them to expand their reach and meet clients' needs across platforms. When global school furniture manufacturer Resero Group needed to pivot from paper to digital price quoting, they transitioned to the signNow API to quickly replace their paper-based workflows. This expedited the quotation process by automating customer communications, prepopulating forms and guiding end-users through the completion process, and notifying account managers once they were completed. Reducing the manual steps in the sales process improved both customer and employee experience.
  • Cost savings: Using third-party applications to handle critical business functions saves money on front and back end development. APIs have a relatively short turnaround time for deployment (some can take minutes or hours to set up instead of days or weeks), which allows organizations to test market-ready applications and determine the value-add to the business without committing personnel and financial resources to build an internal tool from scratch. Additionally, APIs are generally easier to maintain as a change to an API doesn't require a reconfiguration of existing systems.

Bringing APIs into the Business

When considering how to implement APIs, business decision-makers should have a thorough understanding of their unique needs and do extensive research to ensure compatibility. Questions like "do we have enough internal expertise to build this ourselves?" and "how quickly do we want to deploy to customers?" are excellent starting points to determine whether the organization should buy or build a new feature. Organizations should treat API integrations as they would any external partnerships and exercise the same rigor of research when selecting an API to manage key aspects of their business. There are numerous websites dedicated to providing objective software reviews, and recommendations and testimonials can be sourced from within your network.

In addition, companies should ensure that standard security protocols are put in place to secure API data and reduce potential vulnerabilities in the system stemming from the connection. Managing and securing APIs should be a pillar of an overall security strategy. All data should be encrypted and validated; this guarantees that malicious data isn't being entered into the system and corrupting the validation process. Ensuring backward compatibility is also a key consideration when choosing APIs. After an update, users should still be able to use older versions of a product without sacrificing data, functionality, or having to adjust on their end.

APIs are powerful tools that offer a myriad of benefits. They allow businesses to consistently expand their offerings; meeting existing and new client needs across platforms and quickly adjusting to disruption. Enhancing legacy infrastructure with the features and connectivity of APIs has a ripple effect through the organization and to the customer - maximizing available data, making it easier for employees to do their best work, and improving the end-user experience.  Having a clear understanding of how these benefits can differentiate and strengthen an organization makes it easier to determine which API is best for you.



Borya Shakhnovich 

Borya created the vision for airSlate's easy-to-use, automated, end-to-end document workflow solution. He is passionate about our products and ensuring that they meet the needs of our vibrant community of users. He has 20-years experience developing and applying algorithms and models to drive business results and academic insights. Prior to joining airSlate, he founded Orwick, an online community for scientific research. He also was a professor of BioInformatics at Boston University and a fellow in Systems Biology at Harvard University. He has published many research papers, including ones on the evolution of genetic structures, which he adapted to create airSlate's exceptional growth model.

Borya received a BS in Computational BioPhysics from University of Illinois, a PhD in Bioinformatics from Boston University.

Published Thursday, March 31, 2022 7:33 AM by David Marshall
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@VMblog - (Author's Link) - December 13, 2022 1:41 PM

A short rundown on virtualization vs cloud computing.

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