Investing in OTT is first and foremost a business decision. Owners are looking for a solution that helps them reach their business goals without becoming another operational hurdle.
Of all the approaches to developing an OTT platform, the most enterprise ready strategy is API-driven architecture. It has the right combination of speed, flexibility, and robustness to meet the needs of today’s entrepreneurs.
What makes an OTT Platform “enterprise ready”?
The OTT market is growing fast, but it’s also highly competitive. You need to be at the top of your game to stay relevant. That means your software has to be designed with business in mind- what experts call “enterprise ready”.
There are four key components to “enterprise ready software”:
- Reliability: The software needs to work all or most of the time. When it breaks, the structure should lend itself to rapid, lasting repairs.
- Scalability: Demand can rise unexpectedly. The software should grow with it, adding resources when necessary so every user has a consistent experience.
- Flexibility: The software has to be able to adapt to your changing business needs.
- Cost-effectiveness: Like all good enterprise tools, it must deliver enough ROI to be a practical business decision.
You need an OTT platform that launches quickly, maintains a high level of performance regardless of how many users are added, offers the ability to roll out new features or pivot to meet new demands, and covers its costs as quickly as possible.
The best way to get you there is to use API-driven architecture.
How Does API-Driven Architecture Work?
API stands for Application Programming Interface. It’s a set of code that handles communication between one piece of software and another. In plain speech, APIs let software share information with each other directly.
API-driven architecture is a design style where the API structure is developed first, with everything else is built around that. Front- and back-end developers start by collaborating on API specifications.
Once those are agreed on, the front-end team moves forward to focusing on UX/UI while the back-end shifts back to working on the platform’s core functionalities. This allows parallel development, where multiple parts of the OTT platform are being created at the same time.
The opposite approach is called “code first” development. Developers design the platform’s functionalities first, then build API at the end. This leads to longer development cycles, and there are sometimes compatibility issues because the app wasn’t built with API in mind.
It also gets complicated if the desired data is hard to access via API. Making it hard to use social media and third party tool integrations can reduce user experience, which in turn limits user retention.
Why do OTT Developers Like API-Driven Architecture?
Fortunately, developers can avoid “code first” problems by using API-driven architecture. It hits all the key requirements to be enterprise ready:
- Reliability: The style is naturally suited to test-driven development, with a modular nature makes it easier to test and maintain. Starting from API promotes compatibility, too. It’s hard to accidentally build something that doesn’t work with API when that was the starting point. As a side benefit, API-driven architecture leads to better documentation that aids in maintenance and makes repairs faster.
- Scalability: When APIs are the foundation of the architecture, you can plug in services as needed. Adding resources is quick and straightforward.
- Flexibility: Using API your OTT platform grows in the direction of your business needs. If a component isn’t working the way you hoped, swap it for something that does. When users start requesting new features, roll them out in time to keep everyone happy.
- Cost-effectiveness: Economy is a major advantage of API-driven architecture. Working on multiple components simultaneously means faster development and a shorter lead to generating results. You can also start with an MVP and expand as needed without affecting user experience. In fact, periodic updates help keep users active and engaged.
API-driven architecture as a whole centers user experience. Reliability and scalability translate into better performance. Flexibility means faster response to user feedback. You can grant access to endless integrations (calendar apps, social media, and even payment or banking apps) without forcing users to log into every tool, every time.
In other words, API-driven architecture works when you need it to, the way you need it to, at a cost that makes it a smart business decision. It’s the very definition of “enterprise ready”, and it’s the tool that will keep you a step ahead of your competition.
What do you need in an OTT platform? Let us show you how we use API-driven architecture to shorten development time, extend platform life, and improve overall quality. Reach out today!