API fuels Customer Experience Networks
Large enterprises are now focused on creating efficient customer experience networks (CXN) to capture new business, sustain revenue growth and increase market footprint. With that perspective, the underlying media that makes the chain work is API.
Gone are the days when the use of an API (Application Programming Interface) was so complicated that the only one able to use it was the developer who coded it and only on his machine. With standards such as JSON, REST, swagger and others, APIs don't have to be overly complicated. They cross the networks and can be used by anyone linking applications to applications and connecting businesses to businesses. Today, it is an API economy.
Back to basic, what is your core value and capability?
Large enterprises involved in new CXN are going through dramatic digital transformation. They are reshaping the way they operate but success will depend upon their ability to run faster and at a larger scale. For example, a large automotive manufacturer will create new services connecting with banks, insurance, hotels, gas stations and others, but the real value comes when they can produce more cars with better margin.
Is your MFT solid enough to support your future?
Said another way, successful CXNs will generate more:
- Point of sale data, replenishment information, loyalty program transactions in the retail industry
- Payments, clearing and reporting in finance
- Orders, bill of material, PLM data in manufacturing
- Enrollment of partners, patients, clinical trials patients records in healthcare
And each of these are efficiently processed and consumed as files by existing IT chains. The core IT functions already in place and sustaining the core business processes must run better than ever: faster, bigger, cheaper and they must be unbreakable. That means that dealing with the future requires solid MFT infrastructure.
No way! I can do everything through API
Of course, new business and new applications are using APIs to execute services and move transactions data. API is strong and can do whatever you code it for.
But maybe you missed an important statement from the previous paragraph: data traffic is growing and growing. On the MFT side, Axway customers are planning a 25% year over year growth of their file traffic. More files. Larger file sizes. New partners.
Before exposing a new service to the world, do your due diligence:
- Does it need to move big files attached to your API call? How will your API gateway support the extra load? How are you insuring the file is properly delivered and consumed to the target?
- Will it create millions of transactions on your mainframe, resulting in scalability and cost issues? Conversely, a batch process will respond to the need at no extra cost.
- Will it require consolidating millions of limited transactions into a bigger file (let's think IoT trends) and then dispatch this consolidated information requiring complex routing?
- How will you insure data integrity, transfer completeness, acknowledgment, visibility and audit trails? Is the protocol you are using doing that for you or do you have to write additional code to achieve it?
- Can a file service available and consumable through API can be used instead? This may make your API based application even stronger.
It's time to think twice about APIs and MFT and be reminded of the lyrics from Frank Sinatra's Love and Marriage:
"Try, try, try to separate them
It's an illusion
Try, try, try, and you will only come
To this conclusion
API and MFT
Go together like a horse and carriage
This I tell you, brother,
You can't have one without the other"
... and now you know which one is the carriage!