In an earlier blog we talked about why you need to integrate API management into your business strategy. New revenue sources, new audiences for your data, and the potential for greater innovation are all benefits of an API program, if managed properly.
Yet, despite the many benefits, the actual process of opening and managing your API can be challenging.
It’s not as simple as deciding that your data has value and therefore should be made available to a third-party developer community. Such a large investment requires careful planning, clearly articulated goals, and a fair amount of time getting to know your potential users – their needs, what’s important to them, how they might use your data, and so on.
Treat your API Project Like a Product Plan
If this sounds like phase one of any product development plan, you’d be right. In order to determine the value of your API project and its addressable market, APIs should be treated as products with a clearly defined research path, testing, profitability calculation, and a pilot program. Using the data gathered, you can then refine your offering and set up your API management platform accordingly (think of this as the “gift-wrap” phase in which you make your API as enticing to the developer community as you can).
It’s a tried and tested approach that not only helps you weed out which APIs may or may not gain traction, it will also help you eliminate under-performing and under-utilized APIs, or even mash-up complementary ones – ultimately saving yourself the time and cost of maintaining a bunch of extraneous APIs.
It doesn’t stop there though. You’re almost ready for external developers, but you’ll still need a plan to integrate your APIs with other systems. These include payment gateways and user and/or subscription management systems. Finally, you’ll wrap it all up with a management/support plan for your APIs.
That’s just a high level view, of course. To dig a deeper, check out the 4 Phases of an Open API Project Roadmap. The paper offers useful insights and best practices for any open API project.
To learn how EastBanc Technologies’ API experts can help your organization thrive, contact:
Jill DaSilva | Director of Sales Operations | firstname.lastname@example.org | 202-295-3010