My iPhone is the least valuable thing I carry. But I didn’t realise that until my iPhone was stolen (pick-pocketed in Barcelona).
The thief didn’t get my keys, passport or wallet. If he had taken any of those items then I would have been unable to start my car, unable to leave Spain, or unable to pay my hotel bill.
Instead, he stole my iPhone4, which basically meant I couldn’t call, email or tweet. Within three days of the theft I was using a replacement iPhone5 (free upgrade from O2), and all my family photos & apps were restored from an iTunes back-up.
APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) are being rapidly adopted by large companies, public bodies and small tech start-ups with equal amounts of enthusiasm. But that’s not the case for small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
Tech startups and large companies have clear justifications and well-documented commercial incentives for constructing an API. Something else they share in common is the presence of a strong internal advocate, or API evangelist, who will personally back the API initiative and put dedicated time and energy into implementing their API strategy.
In small and medium companies the justification is less clear. The barriers to adopting API technology appear larger and the business benefits appear smaller.
In many cases the decision maker is the CEO of the SME who may not fully understand the potential opportunities or threats that APIs may mean for their business. This lack of understanding about API technology represents a significant commercial handicap for SMEs.
Here are five API opportunities and threats that every SME should be aware of: