Centralized Management of Decentralization: API Governance at scale

Centralized Management of Decentralization

APIs and API management creates the most value when the APIs are closely aligned with value production and flows so that it becomes easier for organizations to tweak and improve value chains. This becomes more critical (and challenging) the larger an organization gets, because the complexity of the organization (and thus the API landscape) is growing, and balancing, as well as optimizing for local and global needs becomes increasingly difficult.

This is not something that is caused by APIs. It’s simply is a representation of complex organizations trying to become more digital, which means becoming better at changing and at discovering and unlocking unrealized value without the organization.

The challenge on this journey is to start with a nucleus of good patterns and practices, and then to scale this across the entire organization. Study over study has shown that the most difficult part of digital transformation is not starting it, but scaling it.

Scaling digital transformation is easier said than done, and we see how this has been playing out in the IT space for a while now. “Shadow IT” and other patterns are indications that traditionally more centralized approaches (“centralize what you can, not what you have to”) may have to give way to more decentralized strategies (“centralize what you must and decentralize everything else”) of thinking about enterprise and IT architecture.

Centralized Management of Decentralization

In this conversation with Marcelo Araujo, Lead at Bosch’s API Center for Enablement (C4E), we use the slightly provocative title “Centralized Management of Decentralization” to talk about the challenges that large organizations are facing on their API journey.

This is not unlike other large entities where models of federation tend to be a good fit: Balance centralization and autonomy by deciding to centralize those parts (both in terms of governance as well and in terms of infrastructure) where it is clearly advantageous to do so. The default choice should be to leave decision and implementation autonomy with organizational units below the federal level.

Check out the following interview to hear about Marcelo’s experience and where he sees the organization going in the coming years.

If you liked this video, why don’t you check out my YouTube channel for more “Getting APIs to Work” content?

 

 

 

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Digital Catalyst, Erik works in the Axway Catalyst team and focuses on API strategy, API programs, and API platforms. His main goal is to make sure that organizations make the right decisions for using APIs as the foundation of their digital transformation initiatives. Erik has a Ph.D. from ETH Zurich, is the author of many articles, papers, and books. He is a frequent speaker at global API events and contributes to standardization activities to help improve the way APIs are designed, managed, and used."

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