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Contentful and APIs – the modern-day anatomy of digital business

The world is changing constantly and at an increasing speed. This change can be observed everywhere, from different ways of working to organization and technology environments. The frantic pace of change means that it’s difficult to predict how technology and business will develop. One example of these changing elements in many companies are the content management tools.

Before, content creation was often defined by and limited to the content management system (CMS) chosen by the company. The purpose of the CMS often transcended the boundaries of pure content management, and other communicational, technological and organizational considerations played a part when choosing which system to use.
 
However, products that offer these kinds of holistic solutions to multiple different challenges often struggle to keep up with the rapid change of business. New situations call for new kinds of solutions. The founders of Contentful wanted to develop one such solution for content management because they felt that the traditional, monolithic content management systems could no longer answer the changing needs of the market.
 
The philosophy with which Contentful was built considers three important things when it comes to highly digitalized business operations:

  1. predicting future use cases is difficult, so the focus has been moved to the structure and reusability of content;
  2. organizations need tools that support their business activity, so instead of using ready-made solutions, why not provide them with customizable tools that match their changing needs
  3. different parts of a company’s technology environment need to be compatible with one another, as well as new channels and tools via APIs.

Why are these things important? Because the development of business operations and digital solutions will continue to go hand in hand and, in this ever-changing world, the basic requirements for any operations are flexibility, agility, scalability, and reliability.

The role of APIs continues to grow

Even though APIs have been discussed in the world of IT for decades, it’s important to acknowledge that in today’s digitalized business operations APIs have a special role for a good reason. Numerous back end systems, cloud-based services, automation, content management, channels, and tools play a part in almost every business.
 
We also know that this technology infrastructure has direct effects on the functionality and development of the business. APIs and the data moving through them, in turn, create the concrete possibilities for developing the business to respond to changing operating environments. This creates wider conditions for change than the features of any single product designed for the present moment.
 
API-first solutions cope with change by preparing for the future. When the data and central processes of the company can be joined easily via APIs this opens up faster development opportunities. The scalability benefits of cloud services are widely understood and the point of focus will move from capacity to scaling business operations with the help of flexible APIs.
 
Individual decisions are less significant when facing an uncertain future, and understanding the strategic big picture is most important. By looking beyond products and technologies, we can shape the business and technology infrastructure of companies in a way that’s ready for tomorrow, today.

If you’re looking for a partner to outline and shape your digital business, or just want to know more about Contentful, be sure to drop us an email:

Panu Ervamaa, CTO | panu.ervamaa@frantic.com
& Akseli Virtanen, Lead Developer | akseli.virtanen@frantic.com