Mashery survey finds third-party innovation main goal

A survey conducted last fall by API management vendor Mashery, at the Mashery Business of APIs conferences in London, New York and San Francisco, found that almost two-thirds of those surveyed cited fostering third party innovation as a main goal of developing APIs. 

It's always important to take a skeptical view of any vendor survey as they tend to be self serving at worst, or at least self-fulfilling prophecies. This is especially true when the audience is likely made up of customers and other interested parties as in this case, but even with that, the data appears to be useful. 

The idea that companies are developing APIs to attract third parties whom they might not even have a relationship with makes a lot of sense. Companies, especially with the increasing proliferation of mobile devices, are looking for ways to provide access points across applications. This bodes well for all content producers too because it provides a means of moving content across mobile apps--applications that have great potential to be locked silos without the help of APIs.

Delyn Simons, director of platform strategies at Mashery also thinks this makes a lot of sense. "Third party innovation certainly embodies the spirit of APIs. The developer community can be credited for creating new ways to profit from business information in ways that greatly supplement internal development efforts," Simons said.

That said, the survey also found that most companies, 95 percent in fact, aren't focusing exclusively on the third party developers, but are instead using a combination of internal and external targets. Only 2 percent were focusing on just third party and only 3 percent on just internal.

While this data may not be purely scientific in nature, it is useful and it shows that companies involved with APIs understand their power and purpose to help expand their products and services.

For more information:
- see the Mashery press release

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