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U.K. API Strategy Puts App-Centric Government Strategies in Focus

Joshua Hoffman
October 27, 2015

Applications are playing a growing role in helping government organizations provide public services. Being able to deliver apps to constituents to help them engage with the government can be a powerful way to streamline public-private interactions and reduce the costs that come with serving communities. Application development platforms are necessary as public sector agencies work to adapt to this near-future vision for app-centric government services, but efforts in the United Kingdom highlight the opportunity to major strategic gains.

Using APIs to simplify interactions between businesses and government

According to a recent ProgrammableWeb report, the government of the United Kingdom recently released a new API designed to enable British companies to integrate the API into their tax apps and file returns with the government automatically. The API is about more than just filing the taxes, as it also includes built-in business logic tools that allow the API to analyze the return, identify errors and perform other key troubleshooting tasks to streamline interactions between organizations and the government.

The news source explained that this API effort comes out of a broad strategy from HM Revenues and Customs Officeto use transparent API services to simplify and improve interactions between the government and businesses.

"BPM toolsare rising to meet app integration challenges."

What does the app-focused world bring to governments and businesses?

The HMRC project highlights that government organizations could soon be considering application and API development as a larger part their role in providing services. Being able to quickly create apps and services - not to mention integrate them across departmental boundaries, becomes critical in this case. These challenges extend into the private sector as well.

As government entities create APIs to help them interact with the public, businesses need to be prepared to build those APIs into their apps in such a way that they not only work like they should, but are also tightly integrated into process workflows.

Business process management tools are rising to meet these challenges. Modern BPM software platforms feature low-code development tools that enable organizations -whether public or private - to customize apps and services quickly to meet their needs. Whether you are a government organization trying to integrate APIs from other agencies you work with or a private business attempting to streamline interactions with the government, the ability to customize your apps to include diverse APIs is key. The low-code functionality offered through BPM tools alleviates the integration burden on IT departments and makes it much easier to align apps and services with business process workflows.