We initially posted this blog in May 2018 specifically for asset managers who were still trying to integrate legacy technology into their investment ecosystem. Three years later, APIs are a must across the financial industry but not all APIs are created the same. We’ve updated this blog to include what it means to be API-first.
Here are the top reasons why an API-first approach should be considered.
1. Interoperable not just integrated
At Qontigo, we’ve developed our technology architecture to be API-first, which means our infrastructure is designed to be open and extensible. APIs aren’t an afterthought, but a core part of our systems design. Irrespective of where the user sits in the investment process and ecosystem, there is a common analytics experience. Think carefully about whether your solution is not only able to connect with other tools in your workflow through an API or whether they actually work together.
2. Get back in the driver’s seat
The industry is moving away from outsourced management of their technology and swiftly towards an API approach. With the former, the vendor has full control of the entire process from change management to pricing leaving clients with few alternatives except to unhappily comply or go through a long, costly process to change vendors.
We’re happy to provide a fully managed service, but we also empower clients to make changes on their own. Our APIs are straightforward to use and clients can incorporate new data or other technology platforms into our (and their) portfolio and risk management ecosystem. As our clients quickly grow, our solutions are designed to quickly grow with them.
3. Rapidly develop and deploy new solutions
In a competitive industry like ours, technology and data provide an advantage by making it quicker for you to bring innovative solutions to the market ahead of your competitors. Connecting your investment ecosystems via APIs enables faster integration and deployment of solutions, saving you time and cost in the process. IT departments don’t have to install and maintain technology on machines. Asset managers don’t need to build significant in-house infrastructure to access expansive sets of industry-leading data. APIs make it easy to select the best source of data or content and not rely on just one third-party provider to aggregate it.
4. Enhance your security and data protection
In the past, institutional firms have been slower to adopt APIs because of concerns around lack of security. However, their fears are easing as technology matures. APIs typically have built-in protections, including permissions/limits on who can access the data, the number of calls in a certain period, record logs, encrypted data transfer, and the ability to quickly turn off APIs in the event of a security breach. We’d argue that, if security protocols are correctly set-up and managed, APIs are more secure than alternative methods of storing data and integrating systems that could leave you vulnerable to breaches without a similar level of automated protections. We follow best practices for ensuring security standards are met, following stringent protocols for coding, assigning permissions and managing authentication.
And we partner with technology providers who lead the way in data protection. Microsoft Azure, our cloud provider, is well-known across all industries for their security protection protocols and highest cloud safety measures. You can run computations at scale, knowing your proprietary information is safe on the cloud.