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2018-05-29

Top Reasons Why APIs Cause Bottlenecks in B2B Operations

Business to Business (B2B) connectivity is evolving and new technologies are enabling enterprises to streamline their B2B operations. Currently, enterprises rely on an API-led approach for their B2B integration. However, managing these technologies and services in a shared enterprise environment with an API based approach is proving to be complicated and expensive.

Fundamental problems emerge when APIs proliferate while integrating disparate on-premise and cloud systems, ultimately resulting in siloed enterprises which struggle to get a unified view of systems. Here are the top reasons why APIs cause bottlenecks in enterprises:

Zero or Less Legacy Support: On-premise and legacy systems don’t support APIs. Their design model and architecture is built with less focus on integration. Enterprises which have built their IT infrastructure over generations face connectivity issues which cannot be addressed through API integrations. The static nature of APIs limits it from integrating legacy applications with cloud applications like Salesforce, Workday, etc.

Heavy Manual Coding: Heavy coding and IT support is required to build, maintain, and modify API based integrations. Manual Java code needs to be generated for defining process workflows for data exchange. For API led B2B integrations, skilled IT teams at every partner end are required for building connections from the scratch. They need to be customized whenever IPs are changed, security certificates expire, or service level agreements are modified.

Lack of Scalability: With so much custom development, an API-led infrastructure is difficult to maintain and scale for B2B processes with large volumes of trading partners. Using APIs for building connections between partner networks can be a daunting marathon challenge. Further, APIs don’t support new styles of integration, data types, and relational databases. Therefore, API led integrations are difficult to be scaled specifically for B2B scenarios that require a lot of onboarding, governance, and community management.

Lack of Security: One of the major pitfalls of API integration is the lack of security. Every new API or vector provides a new surface area for hackers and security risk. Multitude of factors parallel the RESTful API which use HTTP or JSON protocols. Dynamic nature of APIs further expand the surface area of attack and hackers get a much more feasible conduit into the back-end. Enterprise applications or back-end systems become more accessible through cloud, or on-premise environments and vulnerable to malicious assaults and Denial of Service (DoS) attacks.

Lack of Reusability: The APIs which the enterprises use for exposing and connecting services cannot be reused for other use cases. They don’t carry specs that enable API semantics for reuse and reverse engineering. APIs cannot enable a SOA-based strategy to accommodate complex business rules and integration needs. Connections or integrations cannot be scaled or made readily accessible for different use cases.

API based integration approaches cannot help enterprises in managing the entire lifecycle of B2B operations. Outdated APIs can lead to unexpected behavior when introduced to new changes. Organizations should look for an enterprise-class integration solution to connect business systems as per industry standards.

An enterprise-class solution replaces API integration with a no-code approach, enabling business users to perform secure, any-to-any integrations. Business users can shorten their time to revenue by automating integrations. It also helps in combining enterprise systems and reaping the benefits of change management safely and securely. Contact us to know how our enterprise-class solution can help your organization.