• 11, Oct 2021
  • Pooja patel

An API strategy is a critical component of digital transformation. Over the years, the term “API” (which stands for Application Programming Interface) has been used generically to describe a connectivity interface to an application. However, modern APIs have taken on some characteristics that distinguish them from poorly designed APIs of the past:

  • Modern APIs adhere to standards (typically HTTP and REST), that are developer-friendly, easily accessible and understood broadly.
  • They are treated more like products than code. APIs are designed for consumption for specific audiences (e.g., mobile developers), they are documented, and they are versioned in a way that users can have certain expectations of its maintenance and lifecycle.
  • Because they are much more standardized, today's APIs have a much stronger discipline for security and governance, as well as monitored and managed for performance and scale.

When an organization strategically envisions APIs as engines for new products, new business channels, and new business models in ways that ultimately produce new revenue or other measurable value, that organization is said to be monetizing its APIs. In aggregate, the organizations around the world that directly or indirectly monetize their APIs form the basis of what the media often calls the “API economy.” As a subset of the total global economy, the API economy is annually responsible for the exchange of trillions of dollars.

Taken together, an organization, its platform of APIs, the channels of platform availability, and the various constituencies to which those APIs are available (internal developers, external developers, partners, customers, and more) can form a thriving ecosystem.

API strategy blueprint

The API strategy blueprint is very pragmatically broken down into four stages. Each stage represents a collection of critical business and technological fundamentals easily tackled by committed organizations who have the necessary executive backing and long-game patience.

The four stages of an API strategy are:

  • Establish digital strategy
  • Align organization and culture
  • Evaluate, build, and deploy supporting technology
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