Why it's important to create new competitive advantages with APIs

Global ICT is constantly evolving and the emergence of network application programming interfaces (APIs) and programmability is paving the way for more agile, friction-free networking models.

By 2021, the telecom API market is expected to exceed US$ 231.86 Billion according to MarketsandMarkets. The industry is entering a new era where control is directly in the hands of the network-centric businesses and legacy models no longer limit innovation.

APIs are also enabling a new and efficient approach to interconnection and partnership within the networking community itself. Global networking can evolve into a platform-driven, software-defined, global networking ecosystem.

The way network service providers interwork, both commercially and technically, can be re-imagined. Where there were once traditional laborious commercial agreements and rigid interconnects between partners, programmable technical and commercial interfaces now enable smart and dynamic partner network interworking.

APIs can integrate networking platforms and services across multiple service providers. From interconnecting globally to procuring and managing network services, APIs can extend across infrastructures to give users on-demand access to truly global software-defined networks (SDN). Be it accessing the cloud or connecting to global destinations, it simplifies how you can serve new demand and accelerates innovation around the world.

An API-first strategy

Network APIs matter because they are the future of the networking industry. By using APIs, network-centric businesses have an opportunity to engage with each other and transform not only their internal operations but also how they procure connectivity and create the solutions of the future.

Network APIs allow for an agile response to new business opportunities. This is particularly important for service providers serving innovation-driven businesses that must keep up with dynamic demands and speed up time to market. By using APIs to make networking more flexible, fluid and ready to scale, service providers can facilitate reach into new markets and increase responsiveness to market needs

For network-centric businesses, digital transformation can begin with a Network API strategy. The faster they develop one, the quicker they will see returns. APIs are becoming a force for change in networking and they need to look at Network APIs and the role they play in their organisations. One of the greatest benefits of APIs is that services are no longer bound to a single network and can transcend the geographic barriers we see in traditional networking.

By implementing an API-first strategy, software is now at the centre of the business and creating an environment that is flexible, fluid and ready to scale. However, the challenge is to accelerate and promote the use of network APIs across the industry, not just in individual organisations. There is a need for universally recognised API standards to avoid a situation where a unique API needs to be written for every SDN platform integration.

Serving a digitalised future

APIs are removing the barriers between partner networks and competition. In an increasingly digitalised world, the priority for any businesses is to improve the way services are being delivered and navigate the ever-changing demands. APIs will accelerate the development of network services with innovation coming in the form of bundled and threaded multi-partner solutions, bringing next-gen networking applications and services to market.   

Organisations of all kinds will benefit from simplified access to networking platforms and the services they need in a scalable and controllable way, similar to how enterprises access compute needs from their cloud service providers. Network APIs are the foundation for a whole new way of thinking about networking and changes how networks will be connected and optimised globally. It is still early days for the network API, but there are clear signs that they are the optimal way forward for a networking industry that must find ways to become more agile and efficient.

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