Visualizing the Maturing Global API Ecosystem

Heshmatisafa, Saeid
Huhtamäki, Jukka
Seppänen, Marko
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Platform boundary resources are prominent digital strategy tools for companies to disclose business assets to partners and consumers. However, the platform boundary resources of API ecosystems are dependent on API usage and characteristics as well as the social environment around them. This study focuses on the global API ecosystem guided by two assumptions: 1) geographic proximity is distorted, and the global API ecosystem is decentralized in a digitally connected world, and 2) open co-innovation is somewhat prone to geographic nearness and centralized. A data-driven network analysis was utilized to depict the global and regional geolocation of more than 22,000 APIs and 6,000 mashups. First, the global locations of API providers were examined. Next, the connectivity of API mashups at global and regional levels was studied. The findings suggest that APIs are distributed globally, and the API ecosystem has moved from emerging to mature; however, the distribution is skewed towards entrepreneurial regions in North America. Finally, the theoretical and managerial implications are discussed.
Managing the Dynamics of Platforms and Ecosystems, api, api economy, api ecosystem, network analysis, visualization
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