Experian: Security, Agility, and Simplicity with APIs
“I’m very much looking forward to the day when I can look at the Experian portfolio of applications and we’ve modernized the entire portfolio of externally facing applications and we can drive the pace at which we can innovate much more quickly.” -- Experian CIO Barry Libenson, Computerworld, March 2017
The leading information services company took a big step toward fulfilling Libenson’s vision when it adopted an API-first strategy and implemented an API platform.
In a recent conversation, Experian’s vice president of strategy Alpa Jain explained how API management not only grants the company the agility and flexibility to quickly create new products, but also provides both the security required to protect and manage consumer credit data and a facade that masks the complexities of disparate back-end systems.
Experian offers data and analytical tools to help businesses manage credit risk, prevent fraud, target marketing offers, and automate decision making.
A key business for the company is empowering consumers to check credit reports and credit scores to protect themselves against identity theft. Managing credit data to enable these services requires top-notch security, Jain said.
“We have invested a tremendous amount of dollars over the last three years to continuously improve our security posture,” Jain said. “The API management layer helps us add that additional layer of security that’s needed.”
The ability to offer a range of secure and innovative products would be severely hampered without a platform that effectively masks the complex environments, disparate data repositories, and siloed processes that exist among Experian’s several business units, she said.
“API management … helps me focus my time and efforts on the consumer and the clients,” Jain said. “It takes away all the heavy lifting from an IT perspective behind the scenes.”
Another advantage of API management, Jain added, lies in how it facilitates the use of microservices to piece together new products and services in unexpected ways.
“We can now take APIs and break them up into little pieces,” she said. “Internal and external users can pick and choose what they want to use and how they want to leverage it to create different product sets and different solutions that add more value.”
New segmentation tools, methods of marketing products to consumers, and ways to help consumers monitor ID theft—all can arise by enabling microservices, Jain said.
“Innovation can happen at all different levels.”