How Effective Is Your API Integration Strategy?

By Lindsey Jenkins in Enterprise Integration, SaaS Integration, API Industry Trends, Application Ecosystem Posted Aug 25, 2020

If you’re a technology company, you use APIs. Your products are built on them and you need them to connect to other applications so your users aren’t performing manual, reiterative tasks.

And as more and more customers demand a seamless experience from all the companies and applications they interact with, API integration becomes critical to gaining/retaining customers and differentiating yourself from competitors as more entrants seek to enter the market.

api integration strategy

But how do you choose which API integrations to build, and how do you build them?

 

Level-up Your Integration Strategy:
"We build it one-off when the need arises" and "we provide our API and let customers do the rest" mindsets won't cut it anymore.

 

Electing to deprioritize integration strategy or to “wait until it’s more important” is a strategy itself - one loaded with implications of future cost and technical debt. And with customers moving away from companies and apps that don’t offer the seamless experience they need to conduct business, the need to conceptualize and act on a great integration strategy is important for everyone in the tech industry.

Yes, it’s great to talk about the concept, but how do you implement a great integration strategy? We’ve created an API Integration Self-Evaluation tool measuring key points at both the organizational level and at a technical level to analyze how your strategy stacks up.

For example, how much internal support do you have for building API integrations and do you have a prioritized “to build” list based on customer requests and market trends? On the technical side, do you have access to all the sandboxes you need and how do you go about maintaining your integrations?

We’ve broken the respondents into four key categories based on their integration actualities:

The right intention, the wrong implementation This category is for companies that at a high-level recognize the importance of integration, but haven’t taken (or aren’t currently able to take) the steps necessary to implement a great strategy. For these companies, the struggle might be finding the time or resources to build integrations (especially with the need to use developer time for innovation). But the strength with these orgs is they see an effective integration strategy as the next step forward for their business and there’s organizational support for the initiative - the next step is getting there on a technical level.
Companies in this category are unique because their technical resources are well-positioned for a product- and customer-oriented integration strategy that primes the org for faster time-to-value and revenue growth by gaining/retaining customers. But there might not be support at the C-level or among internal teams to institute the initiative - what’s the actual value to customers and how will building integrations benefit the company in the long run? The biggest hurdle for companies in this category is determining the right strategy and then getting internal detractors onboard with its importance. (Check out this blog post for tips.) Technically aware, but organizationally lacking
Growing and improving If your company falls into this category, you’re on the right track by thinking about how your API integration strategy can be improved, but you’re not quite there when it comes to making it a reality. You’re at a critical “make or break” point where determining the best method for your company and the technical means by which you get there will decide whether your company’s future-ready or struggling to keep up. For companies in this category, we recommend starting with the high-level components on our API Integration Self-Evaluation - making sure you have internal support and that you have a method of deciding which integrations are the best investments for your company’s future.
If you fall into this category, you deserve a pat on the back. Product, sales, & development teams are aligned on which integrations are on the roadmap and why. Further, your development team is adept at building the new point-to-point integrations you need to boost your competitive positioning and gain/retain customers. But there’s always the question of “how can we make it better?” and “how do we demonstrate that we’re flexible and ready for the next wave of customer demands/technological innovation?” We’re biased, but given the thousands of apps that the average enterprise utilizes (no, seriously, we have a source) one-to-many integrations that reduce the developer workload and iPaaS vendors that take on the maintenance burden could very well be a worthwhile investment to prepare for the future. Market awareness and technical savvy

Find out which category you fall into - and what you could do better - by taking the evaluation yourself.

See How Your Strategy Stacks Up