What CIOs Should Know About API Management

What CIOs Should Know About API Management

APIs have the potential to enhance digital transformations and help in discovering different channels of revenue. Today, programmatic access to data and services is considered to be one of the most critical concerns — right from what businesses spend to how they use it.

APIs are now becoming an important asset to IT and development processes across the organization. Therefore, CIOs should prepare for better management, access, and compliance including who should get access and to what company data with what APIs by what governance model. Moreover, they should also examine what the company is effectively outsourcing and also assess the dependencies through APIs.

There need to be policies in place to keep the usage of API under control without impacting agility. And to do that, a clear view is a must to understand a few parameters like what are the internal and external APIs in use in the organization, what are they used for, their cost, and also their reliability. Furthermore, CIOS must have a clear understanding of how APIs contribute to the business.

Also Read: Top Strategies to Keep Cloud Spend from Spiraling Out of Control

According to a report by Markets and Markets, API Management Market is projected to grow from US$ 1.2 billion in 2018 to US$ 5.1 billion by 2023.

APIs are there not just for consuming external services but also for organizations to build their own APIs to offer self-service access to common data inside the business or streamline trading of data with vendors.

API gateways are hardware appliances but are now constantly evolving. There are myriad popular tools in the market for API management. It is a commodity service on each major cloud with several options for rate limiting, service composition, and access control, and also includes endpoint and instance filtering. Moreover, third-party services also exist- like API metrics that come in handy while tracking the performance and availability of public APIs.

Auditing what APIs are available and in use is the primary step to building a more formal API strategy. It is easy for APIs to be neglected when in use. Therefore, CIOs should hire API architects and construct API centers of excellence or governance groups for API Management policy. It’s crucial to track how usage of API spreads within the business and to make sure that systems that are responsible for delivering internal API are resourced properly. Also, it is important to secure them so that data doesn’t get exposed.

Cost control is one of the major reasons for building transparency around API usage. APIs are no less than any other cloud service but they have less visibility and their usage is quite inconsistent. This can lead to cost overruns.

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CIOs must have adequate knowledge about how much an API will cost if businesses fail and other disruption if it is not available or perhaps not operating at a regular speed and who will be accountable for any issues that come up. Furthermore, Service level agreements (SLAs) are one of the accepted norms but they need to be quite granular for businesses to incorporate the usage of API. Experts believe that service level objectives, outcome-based agreements, and experience are more suitable as it is the outcome rather than the connection that matters.

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