API Management

Managing APIs across the organization and beyond can be a challenging task for application leaders. To overcome the challenge of API management, leading organizations leverage API centers of excellence to turn API management into an engine that provides access to data, increased innovation and streamlined processes. How does your API management strategy hold up to industry best practices?

 

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What do you need to know about APIs and the API Economy:

Application programming interfaces open new business opportunities. However, too many CIOs make the mistake of seeing APIs as technology only, instead of basing their company's business models, digital strategies and ecosystems on them.

 

Things to remember:

 

  • APIs make digital society and digital business work; they are the basis of every digital strategy.
  • Many enterprises fail to unlock the value of their ecosystems by not making company data and functions accessible in a secure manner.
  • APIs need a bimodal organization, and vice versa.
  • An average enterprise will consume more APIs than it will provide.
  • To start an API program, and get on the API economy, you don't start from the APIs; you start from the perceived value of the applications that consume them.

 

Recommendations:

 

CIOs overseeing application strategy and governance should:

 

  • Adopt a product-based, API consumer-centric mindset for the organization's APIs.
  • Never underestimate API security threats — APIs are prone to reverse engineering. Use an API gateway to protect the assets your API encapsulates.
  • Create an API product manager role.
  • Run a series of hackathons as part of executing a digital strategy.

 

Make sure your APIs deliver value, directly or (more frequently) indirectly; in other words, monetize them.

 

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The role of API Product Manager:

Application leaders responsible for APIs and integration must support project teams, but treating APIs as products with an accompanying product life cycle increases the chances of digital business success. Creating the role of API product manager is key to managing this project/product dichotomy.

 

Key Challenges:

  • Users of APIs represent a different constituency — developers — than the end users who have traditionally been the focus of software product management.
  • Developers are impacted by poor API user experience, which, in turn, limits the creation of solutions that leverage the APIs.
  • Business demands, citizen integrator needs, and developer innovation all drive requirements for new APIs and changes to existing APIs.
  • Monetization of APIs, often as part of a digital platform, requires that the business assigns value to API consumption, which accrues to both the API consumer and the API provider.

 

Recommendations:

 

Application leaders implementing digital business strategies and governance should charter the API product manager to:

  • Ensure a high-quality and consistent API developer experience, which is delivered to the right target market of developers.
  • Manage the API roadmap, prioritizing features by considering business priorities and investment trade-offs.
  • Articulate the business benefits of the API and use this to communicate value to the business.

 

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We've got you covered

At the Gartner Application Architecture, Development & Integration Summit 2019, in Mumbai, we explore API management and how to create centers of excellence to increase API quality. Join us for two days full of insights to help you move your applications organization into the next era of digital business.

 

Relevant sessions:

 

• Governing Next-Generation API Infrastructure: Events, Microservices, Streaming, and Hybrid Architectures

• Magic Quadrant for Full Life Cycle API Management

• Workshop: Designing Your API Security Policy

 

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