Gartner’s recent “Hype Cycle for API and Business Ecosystems, 2020” placed Full Lifecycle API Management in the “Plateau of Productivity” and stated of Full Lifecycle API Management:
“The journey up to the Plateau of Productivity has been and will be slow: many companies still make the mistake of thinking that just putting in place API management will automatically create an ecosystem, secure their APIs, or generate new revenue. Most companies realize that API platforms serve digital transformations, but will take time to realize, which APIs are right for their business.” Gartner, Hype Cycle for API and Business Ecosystems, 2020, Marcus Blosch, Mark O’Neill, 7 August 2020This matches my own experience. I have found that organizations fall into one of three profiles when looking for an API Management solution:
- Profile 1 – marked by “We just need a good product.”
- Profile 2 – marked by “We are disappointed with the lack of adoption of our APIs.”
- Profile 3 – marked by “We want to lead the digital transformation in our industry.”
Why is that?To make API Management a success, a clear and comprehensive API strategy needs to be in a place that matches the understanding of the customer journey — whether internal or external. We are seeing that an API strategy needs to encompass this corporate vision as well as cultural and organizational changes that increase the chances of adoption and execution of the strategy. This challenge is where we are seeing most API strategies get stuck with the following typical roadblocks:
- More than project managers, companies lack API Product Managers collaborating across a coordinated program to shift to a Digital Product Organizational Culture. APIs must be managed as a product.
- APIs being built as one-offs instead of building business capability with APIs that can be reused.
- Many companies treat APIs as just technology. Rather, it is all about defining value and converging early with your consumers to collaborate on an interface before even thinking about implementation and code.
- API Design First is not optional — missing auditing the design before deployment increases the risk of having your API Gateway filled up with low-quality API and redundant APIs — security flows are part of this too.
- Missing building your Connected Pipelines BizOps to ProductOps to DevOps for the full API lifecycle.
- Lack of coordinated governance and control over the complexity of APIs distributed across several disparate platforms, such that you can scale the API program effectively.
- Governance issues leading to duplication of capabilities and overlapping offerings.
- Inconsistent experience due to multiple siloed development teams.
- Unused assets.
- High testing and development costs.