Achieving the Strategic Vision of API-Based Innovation

Table of Contents

  1. Summary
  2. Challenges with Increasing Use of APIs
  3. The Role of a Full Lifecycle API Management Platform
  4. Steps to Achieve API Management Excellence
  5. Benefits of API Excellence
  6. About Jon Collins

1. Summary

“We want to be known as the best travel company in the world, not the company with best infrastructure engineers,” – CTO, online travel company

Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) are table stakes in driving digital transformation initiatives.

Companies can consume the APIs of others, as well as expose their own interfaces as APIs to create new sources of revenue, enabling more efficient interactions with customers, suppliers, and providers, and responding to compliance or downstream client requirements. All of this enables companies to reduce software costs and time to market for new, innovative services.

From an engineering perspective, APIs can interface with both new services and existing applications, with data sets and integration flows, each of which can be the ‘x’ in an “x+API” equation. APIs enable these services to be loosely coupled, so resulting applications can operate at scale, with performance and resilience. This service-oriented approach is at the heart of cloud-native application delivery.

As a result, companies can focus on delivering outcomes and growth as they introduce new digital products to market. The ultimate benefit is financial: “Building outside of API gateways was very expensive and complicated,” says Abhishek Basarkar, Senior Technology Manager at Syniverse. Recent events have only served to intensify this trend: “Around the world COVID has accelerated the need for online transactions, which has meant a lot of API work,” highlights Cristiano Motta, Sales & Channel Director at Profesia.

As use of APIs scales however, increasing cost and risk can undermine their benefits to a business. To counteract these challenges, organizations need a best-in-class API management platform, and best practices across API discovery, adoption, deployment, and operation.

This paper collates interviews with customers and partners of WSO2 and demonstrates how to achieve excellence in API management. This process can include seeing APIs at the center of application delivery, as employed by organizations such as Crédit Agricole: “We have a strategic goal to deliver API Management platform for entities group. Entities have a strategic goal to deliver API across their business.” says Bénédicte Gillin, Squad Leader at Crédit Agricole Group Infrastructure Platform. Neal Adamson, Platform Business Development Lead at Vitality Group reinforces this point: “We didn’t feel we had a choice about using APIs, it was vital.”

From examples like these, we see how API management becomes a critical capability, providing the requisite governance, performance management, and security capabilities to drive positive outcomes from digital initiatives. “One of our customers transformed their business by introducing an API-based platform for all transactions, account management, and loan approvals,” illustrates Cristiano Motta.

“One of our customers transformed their business by introducing an API-based
platform for all transactions, account management, and loan approvals,”
–Cristiano Motta, Sales & Channel Director at Profesia

To understand how to achieve this strategic imperative, let us first consider the API-related challenges facing organizations today.

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