In today’s increasingly interconnected world, application programming interfaces (APIs) are becoming the digital reflection of an organization. To differentiate themselves in a highly competitive market, companies need to create digital capabilities for end users as well as API experiences that set themselves apart in the minds of developers and the organizations they support. They also need to manage their APIs as they do other products and services. This requires a commitment to addressing the external API “look and feel” as well as developing an infrastructure that supports the API lifecycle from inception to retirement.
APIs, like other products, need to provide an experience that delights customers at all levels. There are three important facets that bring together an enriching experience for the developers who use APIs and the consumers of the offerings those APIs enable
- Organizations must consider the branding and positioning implications of APIs. Not only should organizations address the technical needs and experiences of developers, they should also consider how end users experience API-enabled offerings.
- A robust API promotions strategy that facilitates awareness of the APIs is required. It is critical to sustain developers’ interest in considering API usage in an ever-growing ecosystem and pool of competitors.
- Organizations should nurture API adoption throughout the API lifecycle, with an emphasis on turning the API consumer into an API champion. The API lifecycle transcends the initial adoption for development; it is a cumulative experience that includes the use of testing environments, version upgrades, service level agreements (SLAs) and post-deployment support, among other factors.