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More industries seeking to engage with API development: SmartBear report

Business sectors beyond the IT hardware, software and services provider or financial services spaces are increasingly looking for some API action, findings from SmartBear’s 2020 State of API benchmarking report suggest.

Tyler Charboneau, writing for industry website Nordic APIs, said that 28% of firms that responded to SmartBear’s survey were in the IT services and consulting sector, 14% in financial services and 13% in computer hardware and software.

“However, businesses from other disciplines are getting in on the action. Telecoms, utilities, retailers, and healthcare providers have kickstarted the development of their own APIs. These cloud efforts promise to accelerate digitalisation for many teams,” Charboneau wrote in the Nordic APIs post.

“Improved customer experiences are another benefit to this transition — especially in healthcare, where building digital bridges between patients and medical providers is a growing need.”

A total 18 industries responded to SmartBear’s survey. However, Charboneau notes that other areas might also be assumed to be getting involved, such as more “traditional” areas like distributed manufacturing. These other representative industries probably responded in much smaller numbers and therefore weren’t highlighted in the mid-year SmartBear report, he says.

Additionally, adoption of an API development strategy is likely a newer phenomenon — making it an emerging opportunity for the channel.

“Although Salesforce launched the first API back in early 2000, only 45% of surveyed organisations have started providing APIs in the last five years. Only 20% of participating organisations have been developing APIs for at least a decade,” wrote Charboneau.

Previously, API development initiatives might have been too costly, and open source tools weren’t as abundant. Therefore, suggests Charboneau, only companies “with deeper pockets” might have been willing to experiment with providing an API. Interest has grown fast in standards like OpenAPI.

“Development processes today are much more approachable, especially given the prominence of low-code solutions. User-friendliness and cloud-services adoption have made API creation more wallet-friendly,” Charboneau said.

In other SmartBear news, SmartBear’s API design and documentation platform SwaggerHub has netted a 2020 API World gong for Best In API Infrastructure. SwaggerHub is used by thousands of development teams worldwide, within around 40,000 organisations, according to SmartBear.

Jonathan Pasky, executive producer and co-founder of DevNetwork, producer of API World and the 2020 API Awards,” said in the SmartBear press announcement: “Today’s cloud-based SaaS software and hardware increasingly are powered by an open ecosystem of API-centric architecture. This win by SmartBear at the 2020 API Awards is evidence of their leading role.

“SmartBear is helping empower developers and engineers to build upon the backbone of the multi-trillion-dollar market for API-driven products and services.”

Hundreds of nominations were received for the 2020 API Awards across 20 categories.

Winners were selected based on whether they had attracted notable attention and awareness in the API industry; whether they were held in general regard and use by the developer and engineering community; and for being technical leaders for innovation in their sector.

SwaggerHub was also named a 2020 Gartner Peer Insights Customers’ Choice for Full Life Cycle API Management earlier in the year.

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