One of the common themes of IT over the years has always been that disparate systems are not easily integrated, which has led to effectively slowing down corporations and their ability to quickly react to their changing business needs. Thanks to technological innovations and advances, businesses no longer need to put up with such inefficiencies. The two innovations that are leading the charge for easier integration and enhanced efficiency are business process management (BPM) technologies and application programming (API) interfaces technology. BPM can be thought of as the glue that connects the disparate systems, whereas the API technology helps make those connections possible.
The Importance of Effective BPM
In the world of IT, BPM is exceedingly important. Individually, legacy and enterprise systems tend to be tied to a single use (order processing, customer management) and a specific department. However, the more agile companies no longer work as siloed groups and information needs to flow across the organization as a whole. BPM helps break down departmental barriers from an information system perspective, integrated legacy and enterprise systems where necessary. When IT strategy aligns with the BPM strategy, the technology can be used to optimize and automate essential business functions.
When this occurs, communication increases, managers can operate with more knowledge, and the business can respond to market changes quickly and efficiently. While this efficiency is important, if the certain legacy assets cannot be integrated with newer mobile, web and cloud solutions, the benefits of a BPM are not as pronounced. That is where APIs come into play.
Why API Enhances Business-Integration Speed & Agility
APIs break down the barriers between technologies – be they legacy or next-gen. Simply put, APIs provide a standard set of requirements that govern how one application can talk to another. When a set of APIs are defined (say for a specific legacy database or enterprise application), they can be used over and over – without additional programing. APIs can be used in so many ways that they are practically unlimited in their ability to assimilate disparate systems and create new business processes.
APIs also ensure fast and easy access to legacy data, applications and workflows with techniques that are fully compatible with web, cloud based and mobile systems alike. The best part about these benefits is that not only are they the fastest way to modernize legacy systems, but they also require minimal IT investment and resources.
Today, BPM and APIs are giving businesses the ability to “reform” underlying legacy and IT assets and make them serve evolving business processes more effectively. It is a flexible, integrated approach to a major corporate challenge that requires little in the way of resources. With these benefits, it is difficult to argue that there is a better strategy for business process management or legacy modernization success.