Most enterprises understand the value of APIs from a technical standpoint, but not as many know how to gain value from a business perspective. Senior Principal Consultant Steve Hirscher shares three keys to an API strategy that’ll provide the most value for you and your organization.
Many businesses recognize the value of APIs. They see them as a way to technically integrate and combine various systems. However, not everyone understands how to extract business value from these APIs. It’s crucial to treat APIs as products, even if they’re internal or not intended for monetization. This means adopting a product mindset. This involves collecting feedback from customers or internal developers and using it to prioritize your efforts, rather than just assuming that building APIs will automatically attract users.
Whether you’re buying an existing product or developing something in-house, using an API management platform is essential. This platform provides self-service capabilities, such as an API catalog for discovering APIs and potentially creating an API marketplace for external customers. It also enables features like self-registration to understand API usage, observability through data and metrics, and comprehensive documentation to support developers.
In contrast to traditional applications that focus on user experience (UX), APIs are centered around developer experience (DX). DX emphasizes convenience, self-service, and easy adoption of APIs. While developers might have influenced the procurement of various SaaS products, they often hold purchasing authority for APIs as well. Therefore, it’s vital to ensure a straightforward onboarding process and smooth consumption of APIs. This involves providing excellent documentation and a supportive ecosystem.
I’m very enthusiastic about building an API ecosystem where innovative ideas emerge on top of existing capabilities. This innovation leads to the creation of new and unexpected functionalities.
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