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API Ready model step 1 – Strategy and Organisation

Fri, 10/09/2015 - 08:05 -- Fredrik Svensson
Is your API strategy ready – or rather is your business strategy ready for APIs?

Implementing APIs is really merely a question of technology and software. Being successful with your APIs on the other hand requires a lot more and it all starts with one very important point - to align your organisations business strategy with your API delivery.

Whether you wish to use your API to extend your business offering, introduce new markets or enable partners, citizens or customers to interact with you in a more efficient manner, you must have well defined and agreed upon objectives before starting your API project.

I personally love to host API strategy workshops. Why? Well, because they are a true arena for visions, ideas and new thinking. Here, business people and technicians challenge themselves on what is possible and how new phenomena can be used to generate new opportunities. I often find that especially the technicians have new ways of looking at the digitalization transformation era and introduce new business opportunities.

A structured strategy is key

The importance of structuring the ideas and objectives is vital. I would even say that it is the only way to efficiently digest and create a realistic and transparent path to API success.

An API strategy should simply put contain a vision of where we are going, but also a realistic plan on how to get there. This is why our API Ready model starts with a Strategy and Organisation component. Through the API Ready model we assist organisations with establishing or reviewing their API strategy. In short we help your organisation to ask and answer some of the most important questions related to your API strategy. For instance:

- What do I want to achieve with my APIs?- Who is my intended audience?- How do I reach that audience?- Potential legal constraints?- How shall we organize ourselves to support the objectives?… and so forth…

What about organization?

When it comes to creating successful APIs you have have to think differently even in regards to your organization. You need to think small agile combined teams, rather than waterfall and traditional project organisations. And you need to get rid of the traditional organizational borders creating a division between tech and business people.

Here we want to introduce you to the idea of an ACC (API Competency Center). This organizational unit shall consist of a team of both business and tech people being responsible for implementing the API strategy as well as modifying it when required to keep up with changing business requirements. Using APIs as business enablers is a fairly new phenomena and you will need an agile team, with skilled individuals in different areas to keep up with the general development on the market. A smart API strategy combined with a successfully organized and managed ACC is a good start for your API initiative and digital business development.

API Readiness guide


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