Though not everyone may have heard the term “application programming interface,” they’re more than likely already familiar with APIs. An API is a software intermediary that allows two applications to communicate with each other. When you share a YouTube video to Facebook or make a PayPal transaction in an online store, you’re using an API. You must appreciate seeing two different applications work in perfect sync in order to fulfill a personal need.

Now, put yourself in the place of your customers. Imagine them needing the same convenience, range of service, and efficiency from your company. With dedicated business APIs, you will be able to deliver all three. Your APIs can help you engage them on a higher level, as well as bolster your overall business efficiency.

For your company to use APIs to their full potential, you will need to go through the process of API integration. This article will detail what API integration is, what factors affect successful API integration, and why it will be a good decision for your business. Read on for everything that you, as a business owner, need to know.

What is API integration?

Simply put, API integration is the process of linking dedicated APIs into the system of programs, databases, and applications that you use for your business. It involves all the technical work that needs to be done so that APIs run smoothly alongside the rest of your business infrastructure.

API developers already have integration in mind when they’re on the drawing board. Great API design makes integration easy, and it increases the chance of the API’s adoption by a client business. Luckily, today’s generation of developers has access to comprehensive API design toolkits, like that of Stoplight. Thanks to these, you can expect not only a highly-quality API product for your business but smooth implementation for it as well.

What Does Your Business Get Out of Integrating with APIs?

There are several benefits to be had if your company undergoes API integration. Among the most important ones are the following.

You Can Harness the Abilities of Other Apps

One key reason to push through with API integration is how well it will link you to known, established, and trusted technologies. Putting APIs on your business site will enable customers to use search engines, multimedia, and digital payment processors from familiar providers. They’ll be able to access all of these without straying from your company’s platform.

There may actually be no need to create your own payment, search, and content sharing infrastructure of your own. Instead, you can focus on getting APIs to sync existent technologies with your site—which will earn the trust of your customers.

Your Apps and Services Can Work More Smoothly Alongside Each Other

Running a business in the digital age means that you will have a large stack of business applications by default. Getting all of them to work seamlessly together won’t happen by magic. If you want the parts in your system to work in tandem, you will need to pay attention to API integration.

APIs aren’t just good for enabling specific applications. They also serve as the glue to the ecosystem of apps and services, ensuring that they all cohere. That extra level of cohesion is what you need in order to fulfill your business objectives.

You Can Link to Automation Technology

Gone are the days that you depend on manual work for core business tasks, like product shipment and accounting. There are many APIs that can automate these tasks once they’re integrated with your system.

With automation capacities like this, you’ll see an increase in your productivity and decrease in hiccups to your workflow. And once your company staff gets acquainted with the APIs, they’ll be thankful that they have that extra support.

You Can Take on a More Data-Driven Approach to Your Business

One of the most common buzz phrases you’ll hear in the business sector today is “data-drivenness.” And that’s for good reason—the entrepreneur who has the data on their side is the one who’s likely to succeed.

APIs can help you achieve real-time access and data management for your business. Integrating APIs for the purpose of business analytics will give you more mastery over your business insight. And that, in turn, leads to sharper and more responsive decision-making for your company’s affairs.

You Can Use APIs to Generate New Leads

Another way you can leverage APIs is for lead generation. Oftentimes, the task of finding new leads is difficult, and you expend a lot of effort looking in the wrong places. Integrating new APIs may streamline this process for you.

APIs for social media are especially helpful in lead generation. If you integrate such APIs into your system, you may be able to find brand-new customers, clients, potential partners, or ambassadors for your brand.

Things to Consider before Pursuing API Integration

Before you say yes to any new APIs, however, you’ll want to consider the following things:

  • Which types of service you want to integrate (whether it be task management, marketing, customer relations management, or finance)
  • Whether the scale of your API solution fits the scale of data your business typically works with
  • How easy it will be to migrate data when it’s time for your business to expand its resources

If you’re contracting with excellent API developers, they can help answer these questions for you. Get the pros to design an API solution for your business—and beyond that, oversee a smooth and stress-free integration.