API Explained to My CxO
API Explained to My CxO
API management is all the rage in software development, and with upper-level executives listening to the benefits, it's up to you to drive it home.
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API management is still a buzzword in a number of companies, giving the CxOs of companies the prospect of big gains, but for a more modest landing. So what do you tell your CxOs to sell them on the API?
Is API Still Just a Buzzword?
Even if it's been some time since the API management topic has taken off, this topic still remains at the buzzword status in the minds of many people. Influencers like analysis firms and tech media, integrators, and editors do not hesitate to spread all the possible benefits gained by API management, even though not all companies are necessarily concerned by the gains brought. From the top, we can list all the magnificent possibilities a management team might consider:
- "We will be able to monetize its APIs."
- "We're going into an API economy."
- "We're going to make an open API and generate an ecosystem around us."
- "We're gonna make IT more agile."
- "We'll be able to do our digital transformation using the API."
The reality is that there are two simple, yet simple, obstacles to achieving these goals:
- The objective may be more complicated than it seems, and it's clearly not a technical problem, but a problem of organization, means, and sponsorship of leaders,
- The objective may not be relevant to your business.
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As Always, the First Question Is: What Is the Need?
It can be even more difficult to implement if you have to explain to CxOs why you need API management! Ideally, you should know your company's strategy, and that it is up to date with its market. Nevertheless, it may be interesting to give some input to your interlocutors:
- What are the competitors doing on the market?
- What data or services could be resold?
- What is the benefit to be gained from networking the company in a wider ecosystem?
- What pains do you have in your IT?
This requires an inventory of IT, strategy and competition, but also a little bit of brainstorming!
After having determined the gains you could make, it will be up to you to unlock the dreams that a CxO could have around the API. In fact, either your CxO has to come down to earth or he has to learn something from you! Depending on which it is, feel free to be simple, and give simple examples of what could be done. After all, you are not a CxO! It's not up to you!
That's when you have to move on to the painful part! In fact, an API management project is conceptually very simple. It is not the definition of an API or the instantiation of a platform that is in itself very complicated; the complexity comes rather from the multiplicity of actors involved and their interactions. It is, therefore, necessary to set up an organization that will start on the right foot, linking developers, application managers, trades, security experts, etc. This is where you must give an example of an organization, explaining to your CxO, that it will require a very, very strong sponsorship!
Because that's where the difficulty of API management projects lies.
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