It’s hard to imagine how businesses today could survive and compete without APIs to connect their services to an expanding digital world. For most, APIs are essential to future growth. But the mere existence of an API brings no value to the business. Its value only surfaces when it’s being consumed – or adopted – by developers.
IT and business leaders recognize this. According to a recent study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Axway, 86 percent of API decision-makers know that the value of their APIs is in their consumption.* The idea, then, is to focus less so on creating APIs and more on making them adoptable. Sure, no problem, right? Well…
Understanding the barriers to API adoption
Even knowing that greater API consumption – not API creation – is key to growth, many organizations struggle to achieve it. Here’s why:
Limited API visibility and reuse
Business units within an enterprise tend to build their own APIs without knowing if there’s an existing API that provides the same service and functionality. This lack of visibility into API consumption leads to API underuse, poor reuse, and duplication. Without global access to all APIs in a central repository, this ad hoc development continues and ultimately bogs down progress on digital initiatives. What’s more, without visibility into API performance metrics, they won’t have the insight needed to know what needs improving and what doesn’t.
No real-time data
Many organizations today are seeing a considerable increase in data-based events that require real-time responses. But many lack this capability, leading to less-than-ideal user and partner experiences. New revenue opportunities requiring event APIs go unpursued and the additional architecture required to support REST APIs drives up costs.
Lack of integration agility
Your API landscape is complex, comprised of different API gateways from multiple providers, legacy systems that aren’t API-enabled, and a mixed multi-cloud and on-premises architecture. This complexity slows you down and hampers the adoption of your APIs.
Fortunately, there are ways to defeat the barriers to API adoption and the negative consequences that come with them.
Overcoming the challenges to API adoption
With the right API management solution, you can drive adoption and reuse of your APIs and extract from them the greatest value to grow your business. Ideally, you want a solution that takes an open platform approach to API management.
An open platform gives you the power to develop and govern APIs throughout your entire digital ecosystem without having to worry about incompatibility between multiple gateway vendors, disparate architectures across collaborative teams both internally and externally, or limiting your deployment options to on-prem, or cloud.
Even better, an open API management platform allows you to use the IT investments you already made to drive new business opportunities and accelerate growth. Here’s how an open API management platform drives greater API adoption.
A central repository of all your APIs
The way to get total visibility of all your APIs is by centralizing their discovery, use, and reuse in a unified catalog. It came up earlier: a central repository – a single place where every one of your APIs can be accessed and easily discovered, and that’s automatically updated – is essential to knowing which APIs are being used and who’s using them.
An open API management platform like Axway Amplify, for example, provides a unified catalog for your APIs that not only makes APIs easily accessible and discoverable by developers to improve API adoption, but also provides performance metrics and insight that tell you where improvements need to be made.
Having visibility into every API saves you the time and effort needed to develop (unknowingly, in most cases) duplicates.
An event-enabled architecture with streaming APIs
Axway can also event-enable your IT infrastructure so you can stream events in real time using streaming APIs. An event-driven architecture (EDA) with event-driven APIs makes your integration capabilities more agile, scalable, and responsive to the demands of partners and customers.
An EDA unlocks the value of real-time API integrations across applications and reduces the costs of polling with request-response APIs. It will add flexibility to your existing processes without modifying your legacy systems, and boost API adoption to accelerate your digital business initiatives.
Create and integrate APIs with greater agility
As mentioned earlier, DevOps teams need the agility to scale integrations to meet the changing demands of partner and customer ecosystems. With an open API management platform like Axway Amplify, which provides an API builder that simplifies API-based integration, you can accelerate the creation of microservices as part of a strategy to expand API adoption.
Instead of struggling with the complexities of multiple API gateways and legacy systems, you’re able to deploy and scale integrations gracefully, and compose API products out of legacy systems with visual orchestration.
When it comes to API adoption, vendor support matters
According to the Forrester study, 60% of API decision-makers say that business and digital expertise from a vendor is valuable to developing more consumable APIs.* You shouldn’t have to embark on a mission to drive up API consumption without a team of knowledgeable experts to help you form and follow the right strategy.
Axway, for example, offers consultation from a team of API experts who work closely with you and your IT team – even your business colleagues – to help you create a flexible, agile API strategy aimed at increasing adoption of your APIs and opening new opportunities for business growth.
Do you have what you need?
If you’re already using the Amplify API Management Platform to advance your company’s API strategy, then you have what it takes to overcome barriers to greater API adoption. Its unified catalog gives you the centralized repository that makes discovering, using, and reusing APIs easy – for IT and business teams.
To unlock the value of real-time API integration, use the streaming API capabilities in Amplify Streams to event-enable your enterprise with APIs you can manage as you do regular APIs. With Amplify API Builder, you have the agility to scale integrations to meet evolving ecosystem demands – and round out your API strategy.
And as far as vendor expertise goes, you have Axway Catalysts – an elite team of experts with a passion for APIs – ready to help.
Just developing APIs brings no value. You need to make API adoption part of your API program at a strategic level so you can hit the ground running at the design stage. The goal is to make APIs more consumable by developers everywhere. That’s where the value is.
See how Amplify can help you generate new revenues and drive business growth.