Digital Economy & APIs

The advent of the digital economy brings with it a shift in the strategies of businesses entities, regardless of industry and reach. The accelerated pace at which the digital economy continues to grow in the span of a few years changes the game. So intrinsic has digitalisation become to business and overall economic strategies that business entities – whether legacy or new on the block - must adapt in order to thrive. The ability to develop and nurture application programming interfaces – or APIs – can help businesses to exploit the full potential of their digital assets by providing customised software packages to third parties, as part of enriched digital strategies.

The development and release of APIs into the marketplace can ensure that companies – regardless of size – are able to cultivate new revenue streams via distribution to third parties as mentioned above, as well as expanding recognition of their brands by extension.

These tie into the growth of devices that are connected to the Internet, a concept popularly referred to as the Internet of Things – in of itself a growing market that a 2015 report by the IDC projects to potentially be worth[1] US$1.7 trillion by 2020. This has led to technology giants such as Apple, Amazon and Google to develop API architecture to function as the infrastructural underpinnings of the Internet of Things, and by extension the various industries, entertainment, medical, private and public sectors that now run on – or are being prepared to transfer over to – the digital economy.

Healthkit[2], for example, is an umbrella API framework developed by Apple that allows health-related apps to securely share user health data not just within the iOS operating system, but with apps developed by third-party health industry partners, such as the US-based Mayo Clinic[3] and Epic Systems. This allows said partners to develop strategies and service that can best serve users in as holistic manner as possible.

The European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), coming into force on May 25 2018, will put into effect strict and harmonised data protection protocols to protect the personal data of EU citizens. Public and business sector business entities that operate within the EU, utilise and/or store cloud services within the EU will be impacted by the GDPR, and can be heavily penalised[4] if they do not meet the new data protection requirements. Inadequate data security measures that are regarded as being insufficient in protecting the data of customers/users – whether in transit or in storage – can have an impact on the operations and survival of a business entity operating within the digital economy, and reflect the new realities and concerns of a digital marketplace reliant on data

[1]     “Prospect: ,Internet of Things Market To Grow Up To $1.7 Trillion.” Money Times, 4 June 2015, www.moneytimes.com/articles/2369/20150604/iot-market-projected-worth-1-7-trillion-2020-supporting-intel.htm.
[2]     Apple Inc. “Develop Health and Fitness Apps That Work Together.” HealthKit - Apple Developer, www.developer.apple.com/healthkit/.
[3]     Carr, David F. “Apple Partners With Epic, Mayo Clinic For HealthKit.” InformationWeek, 3 June 2014, www.informationweek.com/healthcare/mobile-and-wireless/apple-partners-with-epic-mayo-clinic-for-healthkit/d/d-id/1269371.
[4]                  Burgess, Matt. “What Is GDPR? The Need-to-Know Guide.” WIRED UK, 9 Mar. 2018,https://www.wired.co.uk/article/what-is-gdpr-uk-eu-legislation-compliance-summary-fines-2018