The potential of APIs - Bristol CIO event

12 March, 2015 by Paul Heathcote | EngineeringEventsStrategyShipped

We ran a fantastic event for CIOs at our Bristol office last week. The topic was digital business, and we had a very thought-provoking talk from Johnny Lennon on the power of the API. There were some astonishing stats on the explosion of APIs on the Web since 2005 and we had a good discussion on the pros and cons of opening up access to external data.

One of the most interesting angles for me was the potential to access a huge pool of potential innovation in the developer community. Yes, many of the apps designed and developed on your APIs may be useless and not generate any value, but the one that super scales could generate valuable traffic for limited incremental cost after development of the APIs themselves.

We discussed many thought-provoking examples of the leaders in this space across sports, media and social media, but also in business-to-businesses and government. What could developers build with your data and how could you monetise those developments? The opportunities range from traffic acquisition to getting to know customers better and yes, to increased sales, but the best thing is you can let others come up with the ideas.

Clearly the security and capacity implications need to be considered. Can the benefits outweigh the costs?