Digital transformation is a fundamental shift in business strategy. Not only does it involve taking on modernization projects & teams, but it really requires changing the way you think about your company’s strategic initiatives. For many, this has been on the horizon and they have been able to take it slow, allowing the market to vet the technology. As competition becomes ever more fierce and innovation happens faster and faster, now is the time to figure out what digital transformation means for you. When a business goes digital, they are not only able to leverage the information stored away in their legacy systems, but they can also make that information available outside their firewall to customers, devices, and partners. Gartner says that digital platforms are the focal point for integrating ecosystems of people, business, government and things (Harnessing APIs and Open Data, May 2017). Thriving digital ecosystems are shaped around the exchange of data. APIs are the way to exchange data in a robust marketplace.
Since more organizations are investing in digital transformation than ever before, APIs are proliferating. The reason for investment in APIs are many, and there is no right answer for every business. For many, the ability to apply industry-standard security is of the utmost concern; others find that easy to implement policies like throttling, rate limiting, and version control are critical to developing quickly and making sure that the app developers that depend on well-developed APIs get the tools that they need to support agile methodologies. Still other organizations need visibility into how their data is moving, how APIs are working, and who is accessing them.
Whatever the reason, API proliferation has resulted in a vast number of APIs and a need for API Management. In the most simplistic of terms, APIs are products that are created. Products must be managed to serve their customers their best user experience. Thus, their product managers need to be attuned to every aspect of the API Lifecycle. API Management has historically been reactionary, trying to corral what has already been created. Typically, this has included the operational aspects of the lifecycle – security, deployment, consumption, and monitoring, but Oracle API Platform Cloud Service with Oracle Apiary offers another aspect to a full lifecycle API Management tool: Design.
When you’re driving a car, you want to see where you’re going. Looking through the windshield is important to make sure that you strategize around the car slamming on its brakes in front of you, maneuvering around a turn, or the pothole up ahead. It is incredibly tough to steer a car if you’re only able to see through the rear view mirror. Similarly, including design and standardization as critical elements of the API Lifecycle help to make sure that all stakeholders – business units, both API & app developers, executive sponsors – know the plan and are able to help course-correct if they see a problem coming right at you. Not only does API Design saves time upfront, but considering design and catching problems early saves money. Imagine allowing a buggy product going into deployment. The maintenance and support of that product costs 100x more than catching it while in the design stage.
Design is a critical piece of the API Management puzzle. To find out more, be a part of the conversation around API lifecycle management.