APIs Can Enable New Business Models, says Ashok Vasan, CA Technologies

Ashok Vasan, Vice President, Application Delivery, Asia Pacific & Japan, CA Technologies, believe APIs are 'extremely liberating.' In an interaction with BW CIOWorld, he discusses the emerging trends in the app and API space.

Enterprises seem to believe there is an app for every issue. Isn’t there an app overload on a CIO today? True, there can be an app overload for a CIO as he gets inundated with requests from his stakeholders. A two-fold mechanism, therefore, has to be followed if an enterprise intends to follow a model that facilitates more apps. First, it has to be a business decision at the end of the day. There has to be a need for a particular app it should be backed up by genuine output and benefits for the business. Second, a CIO has to go for an API-led approach. APIs are extremely liberating and can enable new business models altogether. If a CIO establishes an API mechanism for various groups within the enterprise, then he can get more speed. Subsequent to this, he has to ensure there are other tools for the app to work or else he might end up losing credibility. When it comes to app management, how can a CIO balance access and control? Such a balance starts right at the time a CIO is defining the various entry points and access rules. It comes down to identifying the various people entering the numerous gateways and their roles and purposes. Even when a CIO is defining his business process that he is trying to put on an app via an API, he should understand what the privileges are. While this may not be that easy, it can be facilitated. Then there are external parties as well, and one needs to establish protocols for them too. What is driving the API business? It is being driven by multiple sectors. Apparel, retail, insurance, airline companies are all driving it. Every company is opening up their enterprise to the outside world. This is further validating our point that every business is turning into a software business. It is an important business for CA Technologies. Our biggest differentiator is that we offer end-to-end application suit, including testing the APIs. We come with not just our technology but also with our approach and philosophy as to how the development process needs to be done. What functionalities and trends will we see with respect to apps in the near future? There will be a consolidation of apps. There won’t be 10 apps from one company with some of the apps out there getting subsumed or completely discarded. The business models will continue to evolve and there will be services that you may not have imagined. People won’t differentiate themselves on the bandwidth and data plans. It is going to be on what kind of services they are offering to the end customers. You will differentiate a service provider on what content is he delivering to you. Apps, therefore, will become more content rich and some of the lighter-weight features of communication will become ubiquitous. Going forward, you can expect apps to be more interactive. Why can’t there be interaction with another person on the other side. Instead of using apps on a self-serve basis, they could become interactive. It is going to get pretty exciting.


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