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What Supply Chain Executives Should Know About Third Party APIs in 2017

Jett McCandlessIn this special guest feature, Jett McCandless, CEO of project44, discusses the value of APIs for supply chain where too few supply chain companies recognize the monetary value of an API-first approach. Jett McCandless is CEO of project44, a revolutionary enterprise SaaS platform connecting every aspect of the global supply chain through on-demand visibility.

Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) are revolutionizing today’s supply chain industry. Just as APIs have overhauled other industries and brought us apps like Salesforce, and Uber, supply chain is poised to be the next area disrupted by the technology’s on-demand insights and normalized data.

The demand on today’s supply chain is at an all-time high. Yet, efficiencies have plateaued. In combination with a new wave of larger tech companies entering the logistics sector, supply chain execs are undergoing extreme pressure to produce more flexible, productive and efficient networks.

Now more than ever, leaders in the supply chain need to improve how they manage the transportation of goods by boosting efficiencies and lowering costs. The best way to accomplish those improvements is through the use of APIs to deliver on-demand data and insights.

Let’s take a look at the ways APIs, specifically third party APIs, can empower supply chains to improve efficiencies:

Why APIs are a Must for Digital Supply Chains

Leveraging modern connectivity for supply chains is critical in keeping up with the pace of a world that demands not only speed and agility, but also a deep level of visibility. According to TechCrunch, there has been a recent surge in interest for big data technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI). [1] A digital supply chain with IoT and AI capabilities is only possible if default, legacy systems are replaced by APIs. APIs provide the 360 customer view and speed-to-market capabilities needed for adopting new and ever-evolving technologies.

API strategies are largely driven by the need to integrate new software with existing systems. In fact, 58 percent of IT decision makers said their API strategy is driven by the need to integrate new software with existing applications. [2]

Why does this matter? A digital supply chain cannot exist without APIs at the foundation. APIs allow for a normalization of data that powers advanced capabilities to build compatible software applications, databases and programs. They are the quickest solution for building real-time and connected software networks by defining how an application communicates with an associated program.

How to Pick up the Pace with Third Party APIs

Over the past five years, we have seen the rise of third-party API systems across industries. Encouraging examples that point to the dominance of third party API ecosystems in today’s technology landscape, include the growth of companies like Stripe, Twilio and Apigee. [3]

Subscribing to an integration solution is the most cost-effective, scalable, and easy to implement method. 63% of IT decision-makers claim that APIs significantly increase the pace of their advanced digital transformation projects. [4] The quick connections provided by third party solutions allow businesses to increase the flow of data, improve productivity and implement big data solutions like AI and IoT.

Considerations for 2017

With digital giants, Amazon and Uber, entering the logistics arena, supply chain companies need to ensure they are on the fast track to modernization.

Third party API networks empower supply chains with improved speed and flexibility – improving how connectivity solutions are brought to market. Connecting into an already developed integration solution creates the most cost-effective, scalable and easy to implement solution for companies seeking the quickest way to get to market quickly while adapting to ever-changing technology capabilities.

[1] TechCrunch, “The Rise of APIs,” https://techcrunch.com/2016/05/21/the-rise-of-apis/.

[2] Mulesoft, “Connectivity Benchmark Report 2016,” https://www.mulesoft.com/lp/reports/2016-connectivity-benchmark.

[3] TechCrunch, “The Rise of APIs,” https://techcrunch.com/2016/05/21/the-rise-of-apis/.

[4] Wall Street Journal, Deloitte-sponsored article, “APIs Help Drive Digital Transformation,” http://deloitte.wsj.com/cio/2016/06/27/apis-help-drive-digital-transformation/.

 

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