What is an API and How Can It Help Your Business?

 

In business, time is money, and you don’t want to waste either.  Any time you can streamline processes to make your business run faster, and at less expense, you’ll take it.  In this modern era, this means utilizing technologies that increase efficiency and essentially take work off your plate so you can focus on other things.

Let’s say you spend hours each month moving data from your expense tracking app into accounting software.  Wouldn’t it be quicker if your app interfaced with your accounting software to automatically upload expenses, so you didn’t have to enter them twice?  It would save you a lot of time and effort.

In fact, there are ways to accomplish this goal.  All you need is the right API to get the job done.  What is an API and how can it help your business?

What is an API?

Anyone who has upgraded computer software knows the importance of integration.  The idea is that the new software has to interface with other essential programs.  If the program you install to track employee hours won’t work with your payroll software, you’re going to have a problem ensuring your staff is paid appropriately.

An API, or application program interface, is a go-between.  It’s a bridge that connects two or more applications so they can share data.  Suppose you use an app for tracking work-related expenses and you want it to feed information into your accounting software.

Suppose you also want your accounting software to draw data from online bank and credit accounts, as well as your payroll software and any other financial apps you use in the course of business.  An API is the interface connecting these apps and programs so that they can automatically share data and make your life easier.

Benefits for Your Business

Forward-thinking programmers may create apps that are designed to interface with related software, but they can’t think of everything.  The good news is, there are tech companies ready to create custom API solutions for businesses that want to use specific apps in conjunction with one another.  In fact, these businesses can often design custom software for your specific needs, further adding to efficiency.

When you elect to go this route, your business and your employees will gain all kinds of benefits.  First and foremost, you’ll save time.  When software is designed to take on the menial tasks that currently occupy valuable employee time, these workers can turn to more important tasks.  This is not only a boost to morale, but it can help to cut waste and improve performance.  As you probably surmised, this leads to greater opportunities for profitability.

Every business owner wants to work smarter, not harder, and this means constantly looking for ways to streamline operations, to do things faster and at lower cost.  You’ll have to spend a little upfront to find effective APIs or have them custom designed for your business, but you’ll quickly recoup costs in both savings and earnings.  If you want to improve how your applications work together for the benefit of your business, don’t hesitate to consider the many potential benefits of APIs.

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