Some of the major disruptions in the last and current decade (eg: Amazon, Uber and Netflix) have used technology to change the way products and services are designed, sold and serviced around the globe. Traditional ways of doing business has been radically transformed through the use of digital manufacturing, digital market places, connected value chains, dynamic and on-demand servicing.
At the centre of this technology-led disruption has been the ability for companies to create value by connecting individuals, businesses and machines in a new “digital-web”. These connections are dynamic, real-time and contextual and are usually powered by APIs. Digital value chains enable businesses to operate with greater efficiency and agility, reach more customers, connect with partners, and boost consumers’ access to innovative products.
How APIs Create Value
The Digital Value Chain can be categorized under two distinct types:
- Internal Value Chain
- External Value Chain
- B2C Value Chain
- B2B Value Chain
Internal Value chains can be thought about processes that are for consumption by employees whereas External value chains are for external entities which can be further broken down into business customers (B2C External Value Chain) and their partners (B2B External Value Chain). We will try and understand the need and importance for all three value chains to be implemented and integrated. Businesses that adopt only one will be left behind by the ones that integrate all three.
B2C External Value Chain: Connecting, Engaging and Serving CUSTOMERS
Web >> Apps
From 1 billion web browsers to 1 trillion devices
In today’s age of connectivity, clients and consumers are conducting business from wherever they are and businesses that are providing their customers with the information they are looking for at their fingertips are the ones that are winning the game. Reaching customers, be it through mobile apps or digital watches or connected devices in their homes, requires a deep understanding of customers’ needs and opportunistically providing them services that meet these needs.
IT >> Platforms
From traditional IT to a world of Platforms
APIs are the tools that allow businesses to expose a specific contextual service or data for a specific customer need which can be seamlessly integrated at the point of interaction, via a mobile device, a smart device or a cloud based app. B2B companies like Salesforce or Marketo and B2C companies like Uber or Amazon are all striving to provide meaningful contextual apps on all sorts of connected devices, so that their customers can conduct their business whenever and wherever they want to.
B2B External Value Chain: Growing and empowering your PARTNERS
Partners have always played a crucial and strategic role for businesses but in today’s age of digital connectivity partners has to be integrated with the digital fabric of a business. Partners need to have immediate and secure access to critical business data to help them to make important decisions which can have a direct impact on how products are delivered to the end consumers. Similarly, businesses require insights into partners’ data and digital activities to take instant decisions. For example, enterprises need immediate insights suppliers’ inventory that might adversely impact manufacturing timelines. APIs are the only tool that enables businesses to integrate their applications and systems with their partner organization in real-time, while maintaining the security and integrity of their data.
Furthermore, APIs are helping businesses to leverage partner’s information to extend the reach of their products and services to a larger set of customers. For example Facebook has been able to engage users that are not directly on Facebook by allowing external websites to integrate the Facebook “Like” feature using their API. Another similar example is the Concur API, which allows apps (such as Uber, United, TripIt, etc.) to directly upload schedule and expense details to business travelers’ enterprise expense applications.
Internal Value Chain: Innovation from Within
Successful implementation of a digital value chain starts with connecting internal applications and systems of records with employees. This has been the focus for enterprises in the last couple of decades, but getting it right has been elusive.
With the advent of innovative digital solutions the objective now is to provide employees and critical stakeholders with information and collaboration tools enabling them to make quick, accurate and intelligent decisions. Integrating internal applications and services has always been challenging due to organizational hierarchies, silos, legacy applications, and the high number of un-documented applications and services that exist.
By creating internal API catalogs, organizations now have a better way of documenting and sharing application, data and service interfaces, leading to better consumption and integration which eventually leads to greater operational efficiency.
By creating internal, integrated value chains across the various departments and processes like new product development, procurement, manufacturing, marketing, distribution, after-sales services, and other LoBs, companies can execute more complex models that enables isolated phases of activity to appear seamless and integrated, thus allowing business leaders to think about value in more holistic terms.
Finally, it’s all about breaking silos and sharing data. APIs are the “digital-glue” that help break down organizational silos and create value-chains that can seamlessly exchange data on demand.
We at Incepta Solutions specialize on API led integration and consulting services for organizations across industries and verticals .
API and Integration Consulting and Strategy
Incepta can help develop a roadmap and plan by studying current organization processes and identify areas of opportunity where API integration can drive efficiency and productivity.
Integration Solution Architecture
Incepta’s team of experienced Integration architects will help develop a comprehensive and scalable architecture that meets organizational business needs while remaining cost-effective, leveraging the power of the MuleSoft – the leading Integration Platform for APIs. Incepta is proud to be a preferred partner to MuleSoft.
Comprehensive Integration Services
Incepta builds Integration and API Management solutions in a manner that accelerates time-to-value and ROI. Incepta helps connect key systems, eliminate silos, and enable access to the right information both inside and outside the organization, enabling new and legacy systems to connect and coexist.
API Development Services
Incepta’s team of experienced developers and architects can help build and optimize business processes and data flows. In addition Incepta can help develop new APIs and user interfaces, conduct testing, and ensure best practices are followed at every step.
Read more about our company and services at www.inceptasolutions.com.