What is the most common question I am asked about APIs?  The answer is, “can you give me an example in my industry?”  About 15 months ago I started writing a series of blogs giving API examples for every industry.  First I introduced a way to structure the discussion in a blog called, “Identifying good candidates for APIs”.  I then tackled every industry IBM lists on its industry page showing sample API scenarios.

Industry icons

The complete list of industry use case blogs is included below.  But wait, before you scroll down and find your industry, here are a few suggestions about how to use these blogs:

  • The first thing to point out is that we try to keep these blogs short.  Each one is touching on a few potential use cases to spark ideas and demonstrate possibilities.  These blogs are not meant to be the complete list of use cases.  As your efforts progress, you will find many additional use cases.
  • Second: think about the value chain for your APIs.  What is the value of your API to the developer who uses it?  What will the value be that they provide to the end user of the App that they create?  If you can’t find value for each participant in the value chain, rethink your API.
  • Third: Look beyond your industry.  There are patterns and opportunities that you can find by looking at other industries.  Over a year
    look beyond
    ago I was at a Connected Car conference and an API leader from Fitbit was walking around the conference and stopped at the IBM booth.  I asked him why Fitbit was at a Connected Car conference. His answer, “just trying to get some different ideas”.  Seems like a good idea to me.
  • Fourth: Look beyond your industry again.  Another thing to understand is how your industry relates to others.  I call this, “the industry next door”.  APIs can unlock partnerships that cross industries. As an example, when people buy a car, they might need a bank loan and insurance.  Think about your industry, but also the industries that might use your APIs to send you more customers and more business.
  • Fifth and finally, Remember that to achieve success you should always put controls around the APIs so that you know who uses the APIs and how much and can map this to the results.  With this visibility, you can use the analytics to determine which techniques are working and which are not.

Here is the list of industry blogs showing API use cases:

What industries did I miss?  Let me know if I did not cover yours.

Connect with me through comments here or via twitter @Arglick to continue the discussion.   You can also read my earlier blogs.



6 comments on"API Use Cases for Every (?) Industry"

  1. […] it is believed that there is an API for every industry, there are sectors where APIs are relatively underrepresented. Chris Wood has taken a look at some […]

  2. Scott Satterwhite January 15, 2017

    Hi, could you add the following to IBM’s list of Industries and to your list of API Use Cases? Computer Services/Software. This includes companies like: Microsoft, Google, Oracle, Facebook, Salesforce, Uber, VMware, Intuit, LinkedIn, Autodesk, Intuit, Twitter, Airbnb…

  3. Nazia Hasan July 24, 2017

    What about API candidates for the sector Environment and Weather?
    Global warming and environment hazards now a days are a matter of concern.

Join The Discussion

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *