Intelligent CIO Europe Issue 47 - Page 79

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The trouble with APIs
While APIs empower organisations to adapt fast to a changing world and deliver a top-notch experience of their ecosystem to employees , customers and partners , enterprises around the world are dealing with the realities of API complexity . According to recent research , enterprises now rely on three different API management vendors at a time and will likely be using four in the next two years .
With increased digital maturity comes increased complexity that creates bottlenecks thanks to API programmes that run in a disjointed or siloed manner in multiple parts of the business .
Thanks to the sheer number of APIs , multiple API gateways , a lack of common standards and security , and no common catalogue to index everything , many firms are grappling with the fact that innovation is stalling as developers struggle to reuse assets . This equates to high operational complexity , increased security risks and a worrying lack of centralised visibility and governance .
The key to mastering API complexity
has that moment arrived and where can API-enabled transformation be delivered ? There are some tell-tale issues to watch out for that can help the decisionmaking process .
Very high on the list should be any applications that can no longer deliver secure and easy access to data – either internally or externally .
Organisations need a clear API strategy in place that makes it easy to create , control and consume APIs . Just as with modern IT architectures overall , the goal should be to stop building systems and start cultivating ecosystems . In other words , centralise as much as is necessary and decentralise as much as possible . The main focus should be on delivering more value to the business with APIs .
Similarly , if they can ’ t support lightweight APIs utilising common standards such as REST / JSON to present access to data , alarm bells should be ringing that it ’ s no longer fit for purpose in the modern digital setting .
Teams embarking on this process will frequently realise that it will be difficult to deploy changes at speed without compromising the existing platform .
This is another sure sign that the legacy application isn ’ t up to the level of performance required by today ’ s microservices strategies .
Instead , APIs can extend the life of legacy systems to deliver transformational communicative capabilities organisations need .
In doing so , IT teams can focus on a win-win scenario where their infrastructure can be modernised to deliver on business objectives and with minimal organisational disruption .
Organisations can create entirely new digital experiences that utilise the best that modern portals and mobile experiences have to offer . What ’ s vital , however , is that they can do so without the need to painstakingly re-engineer backend legacy infrastructure .
To move forward faster , companies need to find ways to embrace API life cycle management and efficiently manage and govern multiple API gateways , their hybrid cloud IT environments , and other third-party ecosystems .
Only then can they leverage the true promise of APIs to unleash value faster and reuse existing investments to drive new opportunities and revenue . p
Organisations can create entirely new digital experiences that utilise the best that modern portals and mobile experiences have to offer .
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