Leveraging APIs to get digital transformation right
While no two digital transformation journeys are exactly alike, it’s clear that businesses leveraging APIs are the ones gaining a competitive edge in the market. Our 2018 Connectivity benchmark report shows that more than half of the organizations leveraging APIs have witnessed an increase in productivity (58%), while many others have increased innovation (48%), employee engagement (43%) and collaboration (43%).
Digital transformation is as much about updating or better unlocking data legacy systems and aging IT infrastructure as it is about keeping up with a constantly-evolving tech landscape. APIs allow you to optimize your digital capital to keep up with market shifts at a higher velocity, making them an imperative component of your IT strategy.
Stepping into the future with APIs
Technological advances have changed consumer expectations over the last 10 years. As the internet made its way into the palms of consumers – allowing products to be delivered in a matter of days with the click of a few buttons, almost overnight – a new on-demand culture was born. Additionally, the proliferation of application-based customer experiences has intensified this culture even more.
As companies develop new application-based services, they are also creating new digital endpoints. Whether it’s an application to facilitate a new way to shop, or one that improves customer service, each endpoint gives companies data that they can leverage to meet consumers with greater connections. Every time companies add a new digital endpoint, however, they must ensure the endpoint is connected to others in the network. With the right digital infrastructure in place, companies can ensure this connectivity and maintain greater agility.
This is where APIs come in.
An example of API success: ASICS
One business that is leveraging APIs for successful digital transformation is ASICS. As part of a new digital strategy to drive eCommerce, ASICS had to unify multiple systems across all brands, geographies and channels. “To build a new eCommerce site, we needed to connect all the backend systems for each one of our brands to the eCommerce storefront,” explained Phil Connaughton, Director of Engineering, ASICS Digital. “That’s where MuleSoft is very important to us." Instead of connecting each of those endpoints through a direct one-to-one relationship, ASICS adopted MuleSoft's Anypoint Platform, which now handles the communications between these endpoints through APIs. Through this API-first strategy, ASICS has achieved 2.5x faster project delivery and 42% efficiency gains.
For ASICS, every API-enabled connection, developed through Anypoint Platform, is a reusable component. For example, the ASICS Email API, developed during the first project, will be reused dozens of times as the eCommerce platform is rolled out globally.
ASICS’ digital transformation journey started with a vision to transform their eCommerce strategy. But businesses pursue digital transformation for a multitude of reasons and motives in mind––whether it be to improve IT efficiency, boost revenue, or extract valuable insights from data. At the end of the day, a company’s ticket to successful digital transformation lies in their ability to drive a robust API strategy.
An example of API success: Buffalo Wild Wings
Another business leveraging APIs for successful digital transformation is Buffalo Wild Wings. In an attempt to improve the customer experience and increase efficiency, BWW turned to IoT to accurately track beer consumption. By using IoT flow sensors and MuleSoft, BWW began accurately predicting preferences and optimizing inventory planning.
BWW’s solution, which gathers data from multiple applications and systems, provides a great personalized beer experience. The solution is comprised of:
- The flow sensor, which is responsible for measuring the flow of beer. There are multiple remote sensors on the taps at BWW outlets
- Beerboard, the beer management system that monitors and captures pour data
- The POS database, which contains sales data
- MuleSoft, the integration platform, enabling real-time inventory data
Using APIs, BWW connected the above applications and systems together. Through this API-led approach, the restaurant can display the information through an intuitive dashboard that provides a real-time view of when a glass of beer was sold, the amount that was bought, the amount that was sold and more!
Learn more about how APIs can help you get digital transformation right with by watching our webinar: API – three important letters that will define the future of your enterprise.