Implementing API Best Practices Can Transform these 3 Industries
The multitude of applications necessary to run a modern organization is almost out of hand. According to Okta Inc., the average business now deploys 88 different applications, and 10% of all organizations rely upon 200 applications or more to function. Without the right API structure, most organizations would be in the midst of a compatibility crisis with data silos, diminished system interoperability, and a reduced big data analytics strategy.
From our experience, organizations that prioritize API best practices enhance the cohesion of their internal application ecosystem and third-party platforms while mitigating their overall threat vulnerability. In fact, if your organization is in one of the following three industries, this is the ROI you can expect from amplifying your enterprise API strategy.
Interoperability is a cornerstone of modern healthcare. New rules proposed by several Health and Human Services (HHS) agencies along with updates to HL7 increased the expectation that electronic protected health information (ePHI) is portable, accessible, and secure.
Both providers and payors have prioritized the transition, removing barriers to seamless data integration through the form of high-functioning data exchanges. w3r Consulting has specifically helped some clients convert to an automated data pipeline, increasing the speed and accuracy of data transmitted to outside payor organizations and/or regulatory agencies.
Key to an effective data exchange is a secure, standards-based API. Creating a centralized API that can act as an effective intermediary between disparate EHRs, applications, or systems without revealing proprietary or identifying information is essential for any healthcare organization. Providing requested and authorized information to patients, members, peers, and regulators is only the start.
Organizations that are able to implement the right API framework can enhance insurance claims reviews and foster preventative care. In fact, many of the goals of the modern healthcare payor organization, from improving HEDIS scores and increasing care outcomes to targeting new markets and identifying market opportunities, require implementation of streamlined APIs before they can be achieved.
Financial Services APIs
In 2020, the financial services industry moved beyond digital transformation into the realm of digital optimization. Consumers now use an array of digital or mobile banking platforms and services on a regular basis, which require seamless connection, typically through a well-wrought API framework.
The challenge is that the financial services industry in the United States lacks uniformity in data exchanges and communication. Unlike the standardization found overseas such as the Open Banking Implementation Entity (OBIE), there’s no API security, messaging, and dispute management processing principle. Individual organizations need to set their own guidelines based on API best practices to accelerate the evolution of their business.
An API that balances security, compliance, usability, and customer experience can enhance a wide range of financial services. In truth, any business function that requires an application to process requests and deliver responses can benefit from a refined API including:
- Real-time or automated payments
- Accelerated verification for fraud checks or investor queries
- Consumer lending processing and interest claim tracking
- Trading, settlement, and exception management
There are countless possibilities. With the right APIs, financial services companies can achieve greater speed and efficiency from their data while creating a more personalized experience for their customers.
Manufacturing facilities, supply chain management, in-vehicle IoT sensors, CRM systems, and other platforms have provided the automotive industry with a wealth of data. The challenge has always been creating a seamless exchange of data between those various platforms and systems. More than generating a practical data exchange apparatus, some companies are exploring ways to commoditize APIs for use with third-party vendors.
For example, General Motors has created their own Commercial Vehicle APIs and Data Services to work with internal and external applications. This specific API allows clients and customers to use data gathered by their vehicles and transfer it to third-party applications for uses ranging from automated crash incident reports and theft notifications to diagnostic trouble shooting codes and field service recalls.
Even on an internal-only level, fine-tuned APIs are essential to the coordination of local, national, or global operations – whether it’s organizing sales and orders or processing information sent from vehicles. As more organizations become aware of the way data is relayed between systems, the better off their overall operations will be.
Challenges of API Integration
It’s clear that pursuing API best practices is essential for organizations across industries to enhance their operations and strategic insight, but there are plenty of hiccups that can happen along the way. Here’s a small sample:
- Developing multiple APIs simultaneously. Heavily partitioned organizations have been known to duplicate their effort and further complicate an already convoluted system.
- Sabotaging their cybersecurity efforts. Organizations that are too lax with their network security or too permissive with their API security keys can expose their organization to future data breaches. Financial services and healthcare compliance and security policies can be negated with sloppy API design.
- Overlooking regular upgrades. The business world evolves quickly and your APIs need to adapt to emerging technologies and systems. With the right implementation, some API maintenance can be done automatically. You just need experts to set up these processes in advance.
That’s why it is vital for every organization to take careful steps in the pursuit of API integration. Otherwise, all of those potential benefits might evaporate before your eyes.