System integration and API: two fundamental tools for your business in the digital era

The ability of interconnection and data exchange (between the new technological solutions to adopt and the various environments and applications already operating at the company) is becoming one of the primary decision-making factors in the software procurement process.
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  • Digital Transformation

The global context in which we live imposes on individual organisations the need to:

  • rapidly exploit opportunities arising from possible synergies;
  • consolidate their ability to compete in the market;
  • build new competitive advantages;
  • provide integrated value-added services.

This is causing companies to focus on the 2 essential drivers of Digital Transformation, the concepts of openness and connection, while at the same time developing 2 symmetrical needs:

  1. The first is to establish collaborative relationships with third parties in a simple, fast, secure, effective way and with the least possible expenditure of resources.
  2. The second is the increasing need to integrate key business functions with third-party platforms.

This process is reshaping value chains to the point of shifting the focus of companies from fighting for a share of the current market to redefining the market itself.

System integration, digital ecosystems and competitiveness

Each new step in this direction raises the issue of connecting data streams and applications with the existing digital ecosystem. Therefore, the ability of interconnection and data exchange (between the new technological solutions to adopt and the various environments and applications already operating at the company) is becoming one of the primary decision-making factors in the software procurement process.

The concept of “digital ecosystem” transposes to ICT a concept that in biology identifies a community and a physical environment within which interactions and exchanges take place in a dynamic balance.

This need for integration, especially within corporate information systems, has always been present within IT departments. On the other hand, the spread in recent years of the cloud, mobility, social media, AI, big data and IoT has led to the need to implement existing technologies supporting the continuous connection of new applications and new systems.

Digital ecosystems are transforming the way your business delivers value.

Service providers are becoming the new strategic partners to keep in mind for offering increasingly market-appropriate solutions.

The future of business is through APIs

In this context, many players have started to use APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) as the main technological element for simplifying the integration of data and features between different vertical systems and applications, with enormous benefits for end users.

The acronym API in computer science stands for Application Programming Interface, but in the business world it means much more because it represents a strategic component of Digital Transformation. These are simple, extremely powerful lines of code that allow applications and information to be integrated for the benefit of all business functions.

The real potential of APIs lies above all in their ability to become a fundamental element for enabling new business models, originating from the interaction between the company, its functions, its partners and its customers. There are many sectors that have begun to utilise these tools, creating through digital disruption new streams of revenue, which are more and more consistent compared to traditional product/service lines (think of Uber, for example). For this reason, today we hear about a real API economy.

APIs are a tool through which you can increasingly enhance your existing digital assets towards new and different interlocutors (even outside your organisational perimeter), “unlocking” further value in a progressive and incremental way. A value, therefore, that no longer derives from the applications themselves, but from their interfaces that allow for:

  • automating business processes;
  • increasing collaboration inside and outside the company;
  • streamlining processes;
  • creating new services and new business models.

APIs make it possible to rethink company assets in a synergistic logic and to look at the channel and potential partnerships with external players with new eyes, developing integrations between applications and data exchange in a controlled and secure way.

Chalco API

Although born as a “technical” tool for software development, APIs today, in a context of digital transformation, play a role that goes beyond the purely technological and become a real driver of business and innovation.

Starting to think in terms of APIs, hence the term “API thinking”, becomes a way to support the process of digital transformation, creating new models and new relationship dynamics even within sectors and markets considered traditional.

That’s why we decided to build and release our APIs, in order to make it easy to share and use brand and product data and digital assets collected and organised in the Chalco Brand Life suite, serving all possible channels, recipients and initiatives.

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