API development is the foundation of mobile enterprise

By Jonathan Crowl

| Retail

Much of today’s digital development is taking place on the mobile front. This is especially true of enterprise organizations, which can use these mobile products to improve a range of operations and services. From customer-facing apps and experiences to employee products and data-driven operations solutions, companies are using mobile to become more efficient, more productive and more profitable.

When enterprises sit down to outline their mobile strategies, it’s important that they prioritize API development early in the process. Large organizations are moving beyond standalone mobile apps or products and instead investing in suites of mobile solutions — sprawling ecosystems in which distinct mobile assets are seamlessly integrated to offer unprecedented productivity and experience.

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It only makes sense for this mobile innovation to be built upon application programming interfaces, which support better mobile development equipped to support whatever advancements the future may hold.

A framework for mobile development

Some developers will create a mobile app or solution first and then create an API that suits the solution. However, APIs are no longer viewed as optional assets, especially for large organizations. If you’re going to need it in the future, you’re better off building the API first and then using that foundation to create mobile apps.

Once an API is in place, development can happen in several places at once. As Nordic APIs noted, your organization could green-light three different mobile app development projects at the same time, and integration will be a snap because the API is already in place, creating a standard for all these products to follow. This can’t happen if you develop the API after the mobile solution. Organizations seeking rapid mobile growth will be attracted to this API development approach since it supports scalability while minimizing the development cycles needed to produce mobile products.

Improved security for integrated apps

Whenever you’ve integrated one app with another software or solution, security is a concern; the point of this integration can be compromised when the connections aren’t built securely. An API is often the centerpiece of building a solid, secure connection, and it can support other security features that further reduce the risk of a breach.

If you’re an online retailer, for example, you can provide an API to other mobile apps and software that will integrate with your store and sell your products through that platform. The API is necessary to create a secure channel that can handle mobile payment processing. Bear in mind that the API alone doesn’t provide enough security, but it provides an infrastructure that other security measures can sufficiently protect.

Extending audience reach, opening new revenue streams

If you’re able to create third-party sellers or mobile partnerships to drive sales and conversions, another clear benefit of API development emerges: You can create new revenue streams by growing your company’s mobile network. These revenue opportunities could continue to grow as mobile commerce deepens its roots in mobile apps, and as consumer concerns about mobile payment security dissipates over time.

Along with these increased revenue streams comes the ability to grow your audience. API development can lead to cross-promotion, brand integration and other mobile opportunities that generate thousands or tens of thousands of new brand impressions every day. If you choose to make your API public, it’s possible that these impressions will come from third-party sources that require no extra use of your time, money or resources.

These opportunities aren’t available when you build a mobile app that can’t integrate with other products and solutions already out on the market. It’s in enterprise brands’ best interest to build a mobile platform that will grow their digital presence and create opportunities instead of limiting them.