Businesses digitizing could lead to software architecture being a key factor in determining the winners

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Worldwide businesses are expected to spend Well over $1 trillionThis year digital transformationBy 2025, it will be more than twice as high. It’s not just digitizing brick-and-mortar and analog processes these days but adopting cloud native architecture and microservices. None of it comes cheap, and it has definitely never been easy, but it is necessary for any business looking to thrive in today’s global and volatile market.

Where some tech-focused organizations are leading the charge, others — for example, the healthcare industry and government agencies — are still lagging in digital transformation.

Companies’ adoption of new technologies went into overdriveIn the last two years, public health guidelines have forced businesses to look for new ways to interact with customers, colleagues, and buy, sell, in order to meet their goals. However, digitization in major industries started years ago. Spotify, for instance, was able, thanks to consumer expectations and changing consumer preferences, to disrupt the old way of delivering music. This left hundreds of radio stations scrambling for relevance. Airbnb used software to change the hospitality industry, and Uber’s technology forever changed the transportation business.

We are currently in a period of profound change. Technology is enabling new business models while making old ones obsolete. Companies must adapt to keep up with technology and be competitive in order to grow and stay ahead. Software is no longer an afterthought. Whatever line of work you are in, if you have an eye toward the future, it’s time to start thinking of yourself as a software company.

Neue mentality

Technology is as important for a restaurant or retailer as it is for a software company. Every business should prioritize digital transformation. Although the software might not be tangible, companies must invest in their tech as they would any other product. 

One way is to invest in an Application Programming Interfaces. APIs are an important tool that allows businesses to be agile. In short, APIs are what link a company’s digital infrastructure, enabling them to share information with customers, partners and internally. APIs allow businesses to gain additional value by allowing them to exchange information and services automatically with other companies that can enhance experiences, create new products, and even open up new business opportunities. It can change the way companies do business by prioritizing APIs in their technology tool sets. This will allow even small- to medium-sized businesses to remain competitive and adaptable.

With APIs, new integrations that enable new experiences and value to customers — which will only grow more important as time goes on — can be added without additional time or cost. They can also help to streamline internal processes. 

The laggards in digital transform could be better served by adopting APIs. This would allow them to gain greater flexibility and responsiveness which are two things they have struggled with today. 

By shifting to APIs as a separate discipline, businesses can expand digital offerings. This allows them to easily adapt to new opportunities and emerge as winners like Spotify. They will no longer fret if one software system can’t play nice with another system in the schoolyard. APIs are like a teacher who helps them to get along.

It is important for every company to assess the strengths and weaknesses in current technology assets, and then to create a cohesive strategy that works with all relevant departments (IT to business strategy). The strategy concerning software architecture should become a focal point in your company’s digital evolution, and should not be siloed from the work and planning taking place in other departments. It must sit alongside the other elements of your company’s roadmap.

Software integration strategies should be designed-first.

Prioritize APIs first when creating the strategy. Then turn one traditional concept on its head: Instead of being “code first,” or beginning API creation with the required coding, try a design-first approach. Before any line of code is written, it is essential to create a detailed plan. This ensures a better developer experience and cost savings. The relationship between a blueprint & a completed building is a great example of how design is more important than laying bricks.

Both humans and computers need to be able interact with the API. Your company’s design will guide the creation of all digital tools.

Involve all employees in your company to get the best value. The development of an APIFrom your developers to security teams and executives, everyone is important for an API program. Even those with the most basic technical skills will have questions and concerns that need to be addressed before coding begins. Customers and business partners will benefit from an API that is understood and appreciated by the entire team.

Create the API so it will offer maximum benefit to every stakeholder in your business because long gone are the days when only tech giants and software innovators are “API companies.” Today, over 83% of all web traffic comes from some form of API and 90% of developers use APIs. If your company needs to reach a large audience digitally, an API company is the best option. An API company is essential if you are to remain competitive and succeed in this digital age.

APIs are rapidly expanding and any company that treats them as an afterthought risks being left behind. They will allow companies to be flexible, increase their technology offerings, and not only will they be able to adapt, but will also help shape the future.

Stoplight’s CEO is Steve Rodda.

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