The ROI of API

BY IT GLUE | May 14, 2019

“What’s the ROI of that?” We often forget to make this question part of our decision-making process. It’s easy to see why ROI is overlooked for smaller decisions – you might not have great numbers to work with, you might be trying to solve a problem and keen to work with whatever solution presents itself. But at the end of the day, anything that you do should add value. After all, If it doesn’t add some sort of value, why are you doing it?

So let’s look at using the IT Glue API. It’s pretty easy to work with if you have a little coding experience. But there are definitely some folks who would like to streamline processes and build out integrations, but either don’t feel confident in coding, or can’t find the time, or some combination of both. Learning new skills requires a bit more investment of time, so is the return there? Let’s take a look.

What should you automate?

The first step is to figure out what activities you want to automate. Think about what routine tasks you’re doing that take the most time. Try to track just how much time these tasks require, and factor that you can reduce that substantially by automating them.

Processes like user offboarding, user onboarding, syncing MAC addresses, typically require a fair bit of manual work, but in most cases some or all of the tasks involved can be automated. Imagine setting up a workflow that starts with you hitting an “offboard user” button and everything else after that is automated. It may take time to set up, but once it’s done you’ll save that time for every single user you offboard.

What is that automation worth to you?

To find out what the automation is worth to you, take the number of hours per week you spend on that task, and factor in the hourly all-in wage of the person doing it. Do this calculation for every activity that you think you can automate.

Individually, it might not make sense to learn to code or work with APIs just to automate one task. A lot of manual work might only require 30 minutes per week. If you’re questioning the wisdom of learning to code to save 30 minutes per week, well, you’re doing the right thing. But if there’s multiple tasks that, when automated, can combine to save you several hours of manual work, the ROI of learning to work with APIs gets a lot better.

Automate enough and you’ll save an entire full-time job. In these times of chronic talent shortage, even saving 10-20 hours of labor time per week is going to provide relief, and opportunity cost benefits.

Is the ROI of learning to build Integrations positive?

For most of you, the answer is going to be yes. Not to mention that after getting a couple of other projects under your belt, you’ll start to notice other things you can build out and automate, things you may not have thought of the first time around. There’s some pretty strong potential gains to be made, and most MSPs and internal IT teams are going to find a positive ROI from increasing their automation.

For MSPs who don’t have anyone who specializes in coding, the idea of building integrations often seems a bit crazy. But ultimately, time spent learning the foundational skills is an investment. For any investment, there should be a payoff, so it’s always a good idea to quantify the decision. In our experience, that math almost always lends a strong argument in favor of automation.

To learn more about getting started with the IT Glue API, we’ve put together a handy knowledge base article on the subject. Plus, if you feel like putting your API knowledge to the test, we have an exciting API documentation contest running right now through June 30th. There’s even a grand prize of $5,000 cash. (Update: API Contest has finished and the winners have been announced!)

If you’re new to IT Glue and looking to get the lowdown on all of our features, including our open API, sign up for a demo below.

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