APIs – the future of legal tech leadership
What’s on my mind at the moment is APIs.
“An API is a platform that allows different pieces of software, or applications, to communicate with one another. The term is used broadly in the context of programming languages, the web, operating systems, etc. For example, Apple publicly shares a number of APIs powered by iOS, its operating system for iPhones and iPads, for an app developer to use. These APIs allow applications like Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat to access a user device’s camera, microphone, and much more.
APIs can fall into a number of subcategories. Many web and mobile applications, as well as devices (e.g., Amazon Echo), rely heavily on what are known as web APIs. A web API uses the same underlying technologies as web browsers to allow different applications to communicate with one another. Web APIs allow applications to retrieve data or perform actions beyond their built-in capabilities.
Typically, an application, using the internet, requests some data or action from an API. The API provides a response, and the application then adapts and displays it. The API’s code is hosted on a web server, which is essentially a computer connected to the internet. Depending on the functionality the API is providing, there may be an additional layer of security involved, such as sending a unique key”.
Collaboration and connection are becoming more and more business critical.
In that context, APIs will have a significant part to play in the future of legal tech. In my mind, they have the potential to be a source of interconnectedness across the legal profession.
At present, while there is not one legal tech vendor that offers the full suite of capabilities, once the use of legal tech becomes the “new normal,” clients will (and so too, will their business clients) want a single operating system or interface to access legal support.
Imagine if you had to carry a separate smart phone for each of your apps!
What that means existing legal tech is going to have to connect and “talk” to one another a lot more than it does now. It necessitates the existing legal tech world to undergo a transformation of its own.
As clients, let’s ensure legal tech providers don’t inadvertently adopt some of the silo mentality that already exists in droves in the legal profession.
Let’s make sure APIs are part of the product roadmap.
Great leaders communicate and great communicators lead – Simon Sinek.
Great communication has an incredible opportunity to extend to legal tech too.
Let’s lean on the leadership of legal tech to keep us as a profession connected and data driven, greater than ever before.
Speaking of staying connected, I invite you to join my @legallyinnovative tribe on Instagram. And if you have a spare moment, check out my products on annalozynski.com including a 2020 update to my first e-Book, Legally Innovative.
Stay safe, positive and well.