Driving Digital Transformation: How to Unleash Developer Productivity with APIs

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By Gaurav Mishra Jul 28, 2021

The rapid proliferation of new channels, platforms, and mobile apps has only accelerated the already swift pace of our digital age. While businesses certainly benefit from technology transformation, for some sustainability can also be a challenge. This happens when developers are not given enough space to experiment and subsequently meet internal and external challenges and are kept occupied up to their maximum capacity by mundane, grunt tasks. 

The stripe survey provides a detailed analysis of these aspects and accumulates comprehensive insights to showcase the importance of developers and the challenges faced by them. It produces enough fodder to spark a worthwhile conversation as to what can be done to improve the access and efficiency of developers. The study was formulated by surveying thousands of C-level executives and developers across six different countries. 

In this blog, we explore the insights of the report, the challenges faced by the developers, and how an API-led infrastructure is one such solution that can be put to use to overcome such shortcomings. 

Developers are Hardly Stretched 

Businesses today indeed face myriad issues, right from security vulnerabilities, trade tariffs, complex government data regulations, and increased global competition. But in the middle of this, how well they deploy their developers is possibly the most overlooked factor and holds enough water to considerably impact their future success. The stripe report quotes, “Developers act as force-multipliers, and if used effectively, have the collective potential to raise global GDP by $3 trillion over the next ten years.”

If businesses aim to move faster than the pace of their competitors and be ahead of the curve, the answer lies in envisioning and building new products by tapping into new and emerging trends. So, the key here is the need for a strategy that effectively leverages and empowers the existing software engineering talent. 

Senior executives also underline that access to developers is a bigger threat to success for businesses than access to capital. Although the number of developers/software engineers changed in the following year has increased by 56%, senior executives identify that the lack of healthy developer talent is one of the biggest potential threats to their businesses. This has become a primary concern, superseding other challenges about access to capital, immigration, and so on. 

How can developers take the wheel? 

Let’s take a look at the challenges faced by developers. Maintenance issues like debugging and refactoring consume 17 hours a week, on average, of a developer’s time. On top of it, ‘bad code’ consumes approximately four hours a week. This adds up to be nearly $85 billion worldwide in lost opportunity cost annually. 

Of the developers surveyed, 2/3rd believe that clear prioritization, responsibilities, and long-term product goals would improve their own productivity; a top priority for senior executives. Chart-1

A few more insights indicate:

  • Developers believe as a whole, developer productivity in a company, stands at about 68.4%, 
  • Maintenance of legacy systems or technical debt is the most popular issue hindering developer productivity, followed by leadership’s prioritization of projects and building custom technology.
  • Work overload and changing priorities result in discarded code and wastage of time, which are the major offenders that lead to a negative impact and bring down personnel morale. 

About 44% of developers believe that their organizations are too slow to react to tech trends

Senior executives are confident about tapping into the potential of AI, APIs, and other technologies. But developers believe the lack of infrastructure and skilled employees can be a roadblock in implementing these technologies.

The future looks bright with APIs

Being a digital experience company, we believe that API-led infrastructure and integrations are important aspects that can improve developer productivity and innovation. The role of APIs has been well-recognized by global IT leaders. The State of API Economy 2021 report highlights that organizations believe that APIs are the core to digital transformation. It says that 56% of IT decision-makers recognize APIs as the assets that will help organizations build better digital experiences and products. A massive 52% agree that APIs accelerate innovation by enabling their partners to leverage digital assets at scale. 40% view APIs as systems integration enablers while 36% say they see APIs as strategic assets for creating business value.”

How we Accelerated the Performance of API Management Platform by Productizing APIs

Right from building better digital experiences for enhanced customer experience to accelerating innovation by creating a developer ecosystem, a well-managed API-first ecosystem can open multiple doors. 

API adoption allows the abstraction of functionality between two systems. So, the ability to introduce a functionality simply by integrations and not writing code from scratch, saves time, effort, and money. This also reduces the time spent on code maintenance and updates as previously stated, up to 17 hours a week. 

This traditional code-first approach to development leads to umpteen cycles of rework, delay, or disjointed developer experience. You can put an end to this charade with API-led integration and architecture.

APIs bring in much-needed flexibility. Say, for example, the infrastructure behind an API involves physical servers. If the service provider wishes to switch to virtual servers that run in the cloud, it can be as easy as plugging into a socket with  API-led connectivity. 

Beyond developer experience, productizing APIs opens doors for new revenue streams. It also promotes innovation, thus adding an edge in embracing digital disruption, without burdening the in-house developers. 

One such example is Yes Bank. We helped them build a fintech ecosystem atop core banking services. The Drupal-based developer portal opened its APIs to third-party developers, without exposing sensitive customer data. It supported detail pages, use cases, documentation, pricing, and much more to educate external developers about what this collaboration can mean for them. This increased the engagement and innovation quotient for our client. 

The evolution of API-First CMSs only solidifies our claim that APIs are the technology worth banking upon. 

Make APIs work for you

Certainly, APIs are the technology of the hour, but the approach for APIs varies according to the business size and complexity. For enterprises with higher levels of API penetration in their systems, an organization-wide strategy is an obvious answer. This can be implemented through an API platform to effectively manage the API lifecycle, publishing, consumption, and so on. 

However, for businesses embarking on their API journey, it is important to first self-assess and judge their technology readiness. It is then they should work to build an API roadmap. Such a blueprint consolidates your steps as you begin with, as it underscores the potential as well as possible pitfalls due to lack of skill, technology, or support. 

So, as the API-led development approach continues to show promise in the upcoming future for businesses, it is noteworthy to keep discovering the avenues of innovation and transformation. Explore our API services to see what more APIs can do for you.

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