APIs are Application Program Interfaces. They are channels to new customers and markets. Used externally, APIs unlock the power of partners to use business assets to extend the reach of your products or services to customers and markets you may not otherwise easily reach.
I think of these as windows… doorways… a passageway to something. I was in Cinque Terre, Italy a few years ago and we hiked from Monterosso Al Mare to Manarola. The hike was long and toward the end I was tired, sweaty, and starving (oh and I wore flip flips so my feet were sore). Upon entering Manarola, we had to go through this dark tunnel before entering the vibrant public square that lit up every one of my senses. In the photograph, the people represent the APIs and the opening is API management – Exposing from the inside to the outside, released into the public -coming from a closed dark space to light open space, a new channel to connect you into a rich new world.