API economy has ‘real opportunities’

The API sector is currently one of “the most exciting and dynamic” sectors in the Irish software industry.

At a recent Irish Software Association event, sponsored by Bank of Ireland, the speakers and the attendees discussed the API sector and its potential [positive] impact on the tech economy. 

What’s an API?

There are over 12,000 APIs offered by firms today. An API is best thought of as “a contract provided by one piece of computer software to another”.

The Harvard Business Review reports that Salesforce.com generates 50% of its revenue through APIs, Expedia.com generates 90%, and eBay generates 60%.

“APIs are the means by which to execute a strategy, not a substitute for it,” says Adrian Mullet, head of technology at Bank of Ireland and organiser of the event.

“The Irish software companies that are using APIs to expand the reach of their products are seeing big wins for the partners within their API ecosystem.”

Great growth opportunities

Paul Sweetman, director of Irish Software Association, said the success of Irish software and technology companies is “built on an ecosystem of collaboration”.

“The API economy and the acceleration of API use represent a tremendous growth opportunity for Irish technology companies,” adds Mullett. “Companies across a diverse range of sectors such as finance, media, hospitality and travel are using APIs as a critical component of their business model.”

api economy

Speakers at the technology sector insights event, which took place at IBEC’s offices in Dublin, included (left to right) Alan Foy, group CEO, Blueface; Adrian Mullett, head of technology sector, Bank of Ireland; Paolo Malinverno, research vice president at Gartner; Dr Helen McBreen, investment director, Atlantic Bridge; and Maurice Buckley, CEO, TheHireLab.