Remember the televised PSA that would ask late in the evening, “Do you know where your children are?” It was a reminder to parents to check up on their kids, who at that point were hopefully sleeping soundly in their beds.
I won’t presume to give any parenting advice, but I do have a similar question for the IT crowd: do you know where your APIs are?
You’d be surprised how many APIs are left “out in the wild” — undetected and underutilized. I speak with many CIOs and CTOs whose organizations are designing and using APIs.
When asked where their APIs are, things get murky. Often, they acknowledge APIs are spread throughout the enterprise over multiple developer portals, catalogued in spreadsheets or wikis (if at all). Few have a clear picture of their asset portfolio when it comes to APIs.
I say it’s surprising, because we generally understand the value of our assets. We all invest in IT Asset Management (ITAM) and Software Asset Management (SAM). Companies are doing these things for their laptops and software licenses, yet those aren’t nearly as expensive or risky as their APIs that are often left completely unmanaged.
It’s urgent that we start treating APIs as the valuable assets they are. Not only are unmanaged, unknown APIs a security risk, they’re also a massive waste of resources if no one is adopting them.
Deriving more value from APIs starts with having a more universal view of what you have, with the help of an API marketplace.
Protect your investment
There’s a reason the market for ITAM and SAM reached $1.4 billion in 2021. These tools help organizations manage the full lifecycle of their IT assets, control costs, and meet regulatory requirements.
A crucial component of asset management is regularly assessing the asset to see if the business value being created is higher than the cost, or if it can be eliminated.
A laptop might be worth $1-2,000. An API, on the other hand, costs an enterprise $30K on average – or up to $150K – to build, and that’s not even counting the maintenance costs. (Nordic APIs recently estimated it costs roughly $480 to $1,440/month to maintain an API in house.)
Let’s say your company has 200 APIs: that’s possibly a $30 million investment. You could be paying whole scrum teams $1M/year to maintain an API that does absolutely nothing for your business.
I don’t know how many times I’ve seen this in the 20+ years I’ve been in the SOA and API space: developers will find an API or asset and wonder if it’s viable, whether it performs the way they need it to. Is it being maintained, they wonder? So they end up building their own because they don’t trust what they’ve found.
If you build an API that’s never reused – or worse, doesn’t get adopted in the first place – all it does is eat up your developers’ time and the company’s limited IT budget.
A central API marketplace allows you to package your APIs with everything a developer might need so they’re ready to go. By curating APIs and making the subscription process more user-friendly, enterprises can simplify API adoption and get their latest digital service to market faster.
With Axway Amplify Enterprise Marketplace, everything is transparent to those that need to see it. Developers can view the performance and viability of an API.
Marketplace helps speed delivery of digital initiatives and drive API value by allowing developers to easily find and use proven API products that are validated, fully documented, and production-ready.
A successful ITAM strategy can give you annual savings of 8-15%. Just imagine the additional value you could draw from your APIs by simply reusing what you already have and freeing up your IT teams to do other essential work.
In this Q&A video, Axway’s William McKinney dives deeper into how an API marketplace helps improve internal efficiency for an organization and offers teams APIs they can trust.
Keep APIs in full view for stronger security
IT Asset Management allows organizations to maximize value, control costs, manage risk, and support decision-making about the purchase, reuse, retirement, and disposal of IT assets. It also plays a role in meeting regulatory and contractual requirements.
In ITAM, a laptop is a potential security risk, but stealing a laptop is typically a crime of opportunity; the thief has little interest in what’s on it and plans to wipe and resell it for a few hundred bucks.
As we’ve seen above, an API is significantly more expensive. It’s also a potential back door into your customer’s most sensitive data. If left unmanaged, APIs can be a significant liability: so-called “shadow APIs” account for a third of API attacks.
In this sense, an API marketplace is to APIs what ITAM is to your company’s laptops. It’s not just about organizing and curating your APIs; you need to be able to create some protocols and safety around it.
Amplify Marketplace uses agent-based integration for multiple API gateway solutions and data planes, meaning there’s no new infrastructure or changes to policies in the data path. Users get a unified experience regardless of service type and location – and a single source of truth about your company’s APIs.
Because it’s built on our universal API management platform, you can discover unmanaged APIs, automate identification of non-compliant services, and leverage prebuilt security policies to protect your business.
Get more value from what you already have
McKinsey’s advice on what it really takes to capture the value of APIs is just as valid six years later. You can’t do domain-driven design, building APIs that reflect real-world business solutions, without knowing what you have.
Unfortunately, many enterprises today don’t have the visibility or control they need. They’ve built expensive assets with nothing tangible behind them except maybe a few spreadsheets, working in the dark.
Software delivery managers want to know that what they’re building is actually providing value, but they also want to be able to find the things faster to speed up their delivery.
Amplify Enterprise Marketplace simplifies both internal and external API consumption, driving adoption of these valuable assets.
Thanks to a single pane of glass, you can leverage insight from data generated by API use, reuse, and performance to weed out APIs that aren’t working and promote the ones that are.
You keep close track of every laptop IT has assigned, and you (hopefully) know where your children are, too. Isn’t it time you did the same for your APIs?
Watch the webinar: You have APIs everywhere…ready to round them up for better management and value creation?