Before examining what APIs do and how they have revolutionized the business landscape, it’s worth stating, for the record, what they are. Google tells us, “API stands for Application Programming Interface. In the context of APIs, the word ‘Application’ refers to any software with a distinct function. Interfaces can be thought of as a contract of service between two applications. This contract defines how the two communicate with each other using requests and responses.” So, an API is a set of rules and protocols that allow different software programs, often from different organizations, to share data and/or functionality. So it’s no surprise that API management has become crucial to our modern IT infrastructure and IT Service Management (ITSM).
Enterprises use a wide variety of APIs and API-based services, increasing the complexity of the integration ecosystem. The increasing adoption of micro-service environments and APIs across all layers of IT infrastructure further increases the complexity.
On a management level, these complexities translate into challenges with systems management, operations, compliance and risk, and the utilization of data and IT resources. Successful and optimal monetization of the API economy also depends on your API management platform overcoming these challenges.
Most organizations use a middleware layer to utilize and manage APIs. Middleware dynamically manages the integration ecosystem, having its own API management tools required in an API management platform. Let’s take a look at the most important ones.
Key Capabilities of an API Management Platform
Strategic API Lifecycle Management
The right design, management, governance, and secure retirement of APIs are maintained by API lifecycle management. API management platforms need to provide simpler dashboards and workflows to manage the API lifecycle at scale efficiently. By streamlining API development, deployment, monitoring, and versioning, organizations can maximize the value derived from their APIs and align API-related activities with business goals.
Mitra empowered MMB, based in the Czech Republic, to achieve their target of being a digital leader by designing and deploying a modern integration platform that included API lifecycle management. Read more about the project here.
Governance, Compliance, and Risk Management
Risk management is critical for enterprises in a complex API ecosystem since APIs expose data and applications to third parties. Misconfigurations can leave vulnerabilities and security risks, making monitoring tools essential. Establishing and enforcing policies, security controls, and compliance mechanisms can all be done through the API management platform to meet the risk management needs of the business.
Analytics has become an essential requirement for API management tools. Comprehensive visibility of API usage and performance can drive monetization strategies and innovation in API products. Data-driven decision-making is crucial to extracting the maximum value from the API economy and has been a driver for modern business models.
Enhanced Partner Collaboration
Open connectivity provided by APIs has expanded the scope of business partnerships and collaboration. API management platforms that enable developer portals, self-servicing, and other collaborative tools can enable better management of partnerships. Collaboration through the API ecosystem also extends to internal operations, making such connectivity two-pronged for organizations. It can help foster innovation, better relations with partners, revenue growth, and accelerated delivery.
API management platforms are essential for driving high-performance infrastructure operations. API management ensures the right allocation of resources for applications and use cases while not exceeding optimal requirements. Optimizing performance includes functions like monitoring, load balancing, and scalability to enhance efficiency and growth without compromising the customer experience.
Mitra Innovation delivered a 66% reduction in transactional load during peak hours for Cellcard, Cambodia’s leading telecom services provider, with scalable and optimized API management. Read more about the project here.
API management is a critical business function for enterprises in the modern, digital economy. The overall scope of an API management system should include monitoring and control over API lifecycles and their performance. Risk management and compliance are other factors that should be considered when choosing an API management platform.
Most API management systems, whether part of a middleware platform or third-party integration, provide these capabilities. However, using them practically might not be as efficient or user-friendly. Organizations can look for custom-designed solutions that can help translate these into dashboards and easily accessible tools.
Mitra Innovation has extensive experience delivering API management platforms, specializing in the financial services and telecom sectors. Find out more about how we help businesses connect, grow, and thrive at www.mitrai.com.