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Wednesday
Aug072013

The API Economy and Enterprise IT

An excellent HBR article on the implications of the API in Enterprise IT.  Among the companies referenced as models include Netflix, Salesforce.com, Facebook, Twitter, Google and eBay. But, do these companies really represent enterprise IT? It's when the likes of the healthcare, insurance, and supply chain logistics take on the 'API economy' that the real disruption.

Move Beyond Enterprise IT to an API Strategy - Thomas H. Davenport and Bala Iyer - Harvard Business Review:

the IT function's focus has been inside the enterprise. They might allow some occasional website browsing by employees (though many sites are banned), and perhaps an inbound website or intranet for customers to enter an order. The focus, however, has been on protecting a walled garden of information transactions.
We think the emphasis should instead be external. Toward this end, we increasingly see sophisticated organizations competing in an "API economy" in which application programming interfaces are the primary approach to inter-organizational collaboration and information exchange. APIs, which are specifications or protocols for how to exchange information or request online services from an organization, are already booming in online businesses. As more companies realize that information is key to their product and service offerings, and that they need an ecosystem to provide those offerings, APIs will grow further in popularity. Many of today's ecosystem members are coders and app developers, and APIs are how they interface with a provider organization.

 

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