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API-First Approach is Key to Integrating Systems, Says Neptune Software

API-First Approach is Key to Integrating Systems, says Neptune Software

As businesses continue to grapple with the need for increased digital capabilities to meet consumer and operational demands, Neptune Software recommends improving their hybrid digital architecture by taking an API-first approach. In doing so, businesses can avoid huge financial and technical debt, save time while still creating value, and innovate by maximizing in-house capabilities.

“If we’ve learned anything from the last two years, it’s that businesses and their customers want–and need–speed,” said Andreas Sulejewski, CEO at Neptune Software. “It’s important for businesses to continue to deliver results, and they can’t do that if they’re focused on a major core system upgrade. Luckily, there’s a quicker, easier solution thanks to no-code/low-code tools.”

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An API-based integration layer acts as a standardized ‘membrane’ around the back-end systems, allowing data to flow freely across systems and into modern frontend applications.

Bridge the Capability Gap

Many businesses still treat their development teams separately. Their back-end developers are well-versed in business processes and functions, and are relied on to ‘keep the lights on.’ Meanwhile, front-end developers are responsible for innovation, but lack the deep business knowledge. An API-first approach means developers with other backgrounds can create or extend solutions that access functions modeled on processes and business logic.

Instead of keeping teams separate, businesses can integrate APIs that inherently bring development teams together. Internal SAP experts can expose their work securely as APIs, which front-end and cloud developers can harness to create custom solutions using the same vocabulary. This ultimately saves time and money, while still delivering consistent solutions  needed to keep stakeholders happy.

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Innovate Now, Renovate Later

A modern digital transformation for any business doesn’t happen right away. While a recent study shows 88 percent of enterprises have already begun integrating APIs into their digital core, a full core systems upgrade would take a few years to deliver, sapping time and resources, and risking failure to deliver the results customers are demanding now.

Rather than trying to slowly migrate––or entirely rewrite––custom code into a new system, an API-first model allows vendors and customers to take a ‘build and buy’ approach. That is, they can create a loosely-coupled, modular suite of applications with APIs acting as the intermediary layer. This means businesses can develop apps in real-time and in tandem with any systems upgrades, and revamp their underlying implementation once the upgrade has been completed.

Create an ‘App Factory’

The key to an API-centric model is pairing it with a development platform that allows businesses to build apps quickly from within their existing environment. In this way, businesses create a kind of ‘app factory’ that is capable of supporting every aspect of an enterprise, from HR employee self-service (ESS) to warehouse management, and everything in between. The greatest benefit is that businesses can utilize existing in-house capabilities, without needing to acquire new skill sets or additional tools.

Sulekjewski continued, “We’ve seen the success of adopting an API-first model –– in our clients and in our own enterprise. So, we know it works. The key is integrating teams and technology, through a common development language that allows businesses to innovate and keep their digital core clean.”

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[To share your insights with us, please write to sghosh@martechseries.com]

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