Open API: An Investigation of its Business Value

Frederik Fenger, Simon Westh Henriksen, Jonas Hedman, Xiao Xiao

Research output: Working paperResearch

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Open APIs are receiving attention, promising great benefit to organizations in the form of new revenue streams and unlimited innovation. This paper seeks to provide an alternative approach to understanding the value created by Open APIs. We develop a value taxonomy that contains two axis: tangibility (tangible, intangible) and proximity (internal, partner, third-party) resulting in a representation of six different value types. With the value taxonomy in place, a comprehensive content analysis of available content on Open APIs is conducted, including published case studies, news articles, whitepapers, book chapters and more, where value of Open API are identified through an open coding process. From these codes, 10 value categories are extracted which are then mapped into the proposed value taxonomy. Our findings reveal that Open APIs provide significant value across all six value types, but the distribution is not equal. More intangible than tangible value is created, and there is an overweight of value created in the internal proximity when compared to either partner or third-party.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationFrederiksberg
PublisherDepartment of Digitalization. CBS
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 2018
SeriesDIGI Communications


  • Open API
  • API
  • Business value
  • Innovation

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