APIs have had a big year in 2021. The API platform has enabled us to gather perspectives from our employees, customers, and industry professionals throughout the year. Beyond the proliferation of APIs (especially in an era of pandemics), we learned what good APIs and great API programs could do to transform businesses. Here are five trends that will shape APIs in the year ahead.
1. If software eats the world, APIs are its teeth
A nod to the critical role of API might follow up Marc Andreessen’s famous declaration. APIs are a critical component of accelerating digital transformation, no matter what industry you’re in.
In an article published this year by the Harvard Business Review, APIs aren’t just for tech companies; Tiffany Xingyu Wang and Matt McLarty (MuleSoft) argue that APIs aren’t just for tech companies. Every industry can benefit from geolocation API – you don’t have to be a tech company. APIs particularly benefit small and midsize businesses struggling to reach audiences via saturated and tightly controlled ad networks.
This phenomenon is on full display from twenty-first-century teens to global conglomerates founded in the late 1800s.
2. Digitalizing connections
Our collaborative series with the API program interviewed some of the world’s top API professionals. Our findings indicate that acknowledging the human side of the digital-to-digital connection is one of the most evident trends.
APIs have a human side; each API represents a real relationship between two individuals. AWS Marketplace Global Category Lead, Business Development, Emmelyn Wang, said, “Everyone with a digital experience has experienced an API, and that will only grow in popularity.”.
As the Field CTO of Kong, Melissa van der Hecht is fascinated by APIs’ impact around the globe. Her work combines her knowledge of technology with how API impacts business and society.
As APIs connect one computing system to another via abstraction layers, they disintermediate humans, but they still require attention throughout the user experience. When APIs are considered to other relationships, they have a major impact.
3. Boosting investment
Our research shows that businesses plan to invest more heavily in APIs in the future. According to companies, their top priorities for 2021 includes: API security and governance (50%), growing & managing API adoption (41%), investing in building a developer community (38%), monetizing APIs (31%), making more of their data & services publicly available (31%), and increasing their API operations and monitoring (20%) according to Google’s report on the API economy.
In the next phase of the API economy, good governance, robust security, and a healthy developer community will be the guiding principles. This rapid growth of APIs won’t stop here, and ensuring API programs are secure with proper governance will continue to be a priority.
Developer communities are also becoming a growing consideration for API companies.
4. Digital value is unlocked by hyper-automation.
In addition to accelerating time-to-market, hyper-automation will enhance employee and customer experiences.
5. Designed for daily use
APIs will impact every aspect of our lives. The company used APIs to innovate and grow its business and transform transportation experiences that affect us all. APIs are at the intersection of a range of individual experiences impacted by technology and how they may impact our daily lives. We aim to ensure a diversity of perspectives and skills shaping this new territory, with partners like API Days Women in APIs.