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2014 The Year API enters the vernacular

Us geeks have a strong tradition of introducing some great acronyms into the global vernacular: DVD, USB, DOS, WiFi are a few.

As the world searches for the lost Malaysian Airlines flight and its passengers a leading line of inquiry is the passengers who didn't board the plane after checking in and who were all using stolen passports. These passport identities were all on the Interpol database of stolen passports yet no country has ever queried the database.

Certainly, most people are probably aware of the Interpol database and how it could potentially be used and I would certainly hope the creators of passenger security software are very familiar with it. Yet integrating this sort of data into mainstream applications, exposing useful, smart and lightweight APIs and the creation of truly internet based composite applications where the composite parts come from a wide range of sources is still rare.

There are many good examples of how composite style manufacturing work well:

The automotive industry has transformed itself from the days of the Model T Ford to a landscape today erupting with options and models for customers. The German automotive companies are perhaps the best at with cross company collaboration and production lines that can roll out customised cars at every turn.

The other software and API example is Maps. Google and Bing have both done well creating APIs that allow developers to embed mapping applications deep within their own finished services

As Interpol have created a wealth of data that are truly valuable to be illuminated inside of third party applications, so too have banks. A decade of creating rich internet based web services have done a great job of enabling customer self-service; bill payment, internet banking and securities trading are all good examples.

In 2014 banks and other service organisations face new threats and opportunities from start-ups and globalisation. A key to how well service organisations respond to this challenge will without doubt be how they unlock that asset and enable creativity to erupt around it. There are very cool services lurking in the corridors: payment gateways, credit scoring, account transfers, housing data and performance data of nearly every imaginable kind.

The Australian government is already on board. For the third year running, over a July weekend, the Govt will expose databases and services via its APIS to see what the creative technology world can build. My favourite from last year was the "Who's Deadliest?" app. The app allows you to pick two things and see which on kills more people each year. Bus vs Shark!

In 2014 the service companies who are well placed to compete will begin to emerge as the ones who begin exposing APIs and encouraging creativity from outside their walls to create new customers, applications and revenue streams 

In addition we may even save a few lives.


Comments: (1)

Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune 12 March, 2014, 16:36Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Compared to this, banks seem to be extremely sophisticated users of API technology e.g. HFT consumes social media sentiment and takes a buy / sell decision in milliseconds. That said, it's not self-evident that Interpol publishes an API of info related to stolen passports.

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