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July 10, 2020

What Are Open APIs?


Open APIs should be used to drive revenue in the enterprise. But what are open APIs? And how can you leverage them?

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What Are Open APIs?

An open API is a public application programming interface (API) that gives developers access to an application or web service. Open APIs are often derived from open API initiatives. These are common industries like banking, healthcare, and telecommunications. 

Open APIs can be leveraged by organizations to create innovative uses of their applications, adding value to their core business.

Anatomy of an Open API

Open APIs provide access to external parties to your data and business processes.

The diagram below illustrates the typical flow from a core system to the public. Most backend systems were never built to expose information or access directly. This is where microservices and APIs come into play.

What Are Open APIs

A microservice is built to do one thing, and do that one thing well. Often, a set of microservices need to be strung together to form a transaction. That's where APIs fit into the architecture. APIs and API management platforms have the capability to expose a single interface which aggregates multiple microservices.

Through the use of microservices and an API interface, you can provide data and access to external consumers or channels.

So how do you actually go about creating an OpenAPI definition from code? You can find plenty of information on that, as well as the differences between OpenAPI vs Swagger over at BlazeMeter by Perforce.   

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Benefits of Open APIs

When you use open APIs the right way, there are countless benefits. Here are the top ones. 


Gain agility with open APIs. Open APIs support an architecture based on modularity and reuse. You can use open APIs to expose packaged business capabilities.

The result? Business agility and full interoperability. 

New Business Opportunities

Enable new products and services with open APIs. Open APIs allow you to provide services to — and consume services from — other business units, subsidiaries, and external third parties

The result? New business opportunities — and greater revenue. 

Easier Processes

Make your processes easier with open APIs. Open APIs enable systems rationalization. 

The result? Easier processes — and a simplified IT estate.

Faster Time-to-Market

Accelerate time-to-market with open APIs. Open APIs enable the configuration — and reconfiguration — of systems and capabilities. 

The result? You can deliver new business solutions faster. 

Greater Customer Satisfaction

Improve the customer experience with open APIs. Open APIs give your customers more choices and control over their personal data, as well as access to innovative third party solutions.

The result? More flexibility and happier customers. 

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Key Open API Initiatives

So, what are the key open API initiatives?

Open APIs have been around in a number of industries for some time now, with some more mature than others. Here are the main open API initiatives.

Open API Initiatives For Your Digital Ecosystem

Open banking led the way in open API initiatives. What can you learn from it as you build your digital ecosystem — regardless of industry? Find out in Foundations For a Digital Ecosystem.


Open API Initiatives in Banking: PSD2

Open banking is the poster child of open APIs. It's been around for a few years. And it centers around the practice of sharing financial data electronically and securely.

Open API initiatives in banking were driven by regulatory changes in the EU and UK. The main ones were PSD2 and GDPR. Banks were initially not very happy as these changes were forced on them. But the value is paying off for many. 

Open API Initiatives in Healthcare: FHIR

FHIR prompted the use of open APIs in healthcare in recent years. 

Though not as mature as open API initiatives in banking, FHIR is driving open API adoption. 

FHIR is a data exchange standard developed to provide a unified, standardized interface between healthcare providers. Learn more about FHIR APIs.

Open API Initiatives in Insurance: Open Insurance

Open insurance lags behind banking but has seen a lot of activity recently. In particular, with the open insurance initiative.

By providing customer data, insurers can make use of developers to:

  • Bring new services.
  • Create a seamless customer experience.
  • Increase efficiency in claims processing.
  • Grow customer acquisition channels.
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How to Increase Revenue With Open APIs

So, how can you use open APIs to increase revenue? 

Watch our webinar below to get a complete overview of increasing revenue with open APIs. Or keep reading for a full recap.

1. Ensure Compliance

You need to comply to stay in business. If you don't comply, it will cost you. Your APIs play a key role in this.

When you use the Akana API platform, you'll ensure compliance from the start. And you'll increase revenue by avoiding unnecessary fines and fees.

2. Increase Agility

You need to be agile in how you manage data, especially in a digital ecosystem. 

By using Akana, you'll be able to use data better internally to improve the customer experience. And you'll increase revenue by increasing the customer lifetime value. 

3. Monetize New API Products

You can create additional revenue streams by developing and selling access to new API products. These products can be used as upsells or cross-sells for other products, too. 

By using Akana, you'll be able to monetize API products easily, so you can drive additional revenue. 

4. Increase Customer Satisfaction

Make sure your customer is satisfied with their experience. 

When you use Akana to build a better customer experience, you'll retain customers and reduce the risk of them looking for alternatives. This increases revenue by delivering greater customer lifetime value. 

5. Build Collaborative Partnerships

Build collaborative partnerships with third-party companies. This allows you to create unique value propositions and employ creative marketing strategies. 

Akana gives you the platform for collaborating with third party companies via APIs. So, you'll be able to increase revenue by leveraging new and complementary offerings. 

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Drive Revenue With Your Open APIs

Use our interactive KPI tool to find out how much more revenue you can drive with your APIs, including open APIs. 


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