This message — one delivered by Jaime Ryan, VP of Product Management for Amplify API Management Platform, in a recent webinar on API marketplaces — suggests that we’ve hit a new window of time in API adoption.
APIs have gained widespread acceptance and are built to deliver internal and external support. In fact, of the 71% of businesses that reported having 20 or more digital business projects in progress, there were an average of 257 APIs published internally and 188 APIs published externally to support these initiatives.
But as the API space becomes more populated and more dependencies develop within the IT infrastructure, the question has now become one of how to best manage and present your API capabilities.
Backed by the right approach, API marketplaces have the power to serve this purpose, providing the optimal experience for IT teams, API product managers, and consumers alike. Jaime Ryan describes the main issues below.
The value an API marketplace brings to the table
While API marketplaces have been around for some time, the nature of these so-called storefronts has evolved. Modern API marketplaces function as a roadmap that caters to the needs of multiple personas from the convenience of one comprehensive portal — even if the goal is not to make the APIs external right off the bat. That way, you have a scalable infrastructure that meets current objectives and is ready to grow with you.
The overarching benefit of an API marketplace is that it accelerates API discovery and use. Whether the initial intent is to build a developer portal, create a partner ecosystem, or enhance control over internal assets, API marketplaces provide individuals with an easy way to find resources that are relevant to their business objectives:
- API platform teams can gain visibility into the API portfolio and enable successful API deliveries
- API product managers can package their APIs as products to market and amplify business profits
- API consumers can find relevant solutions for their problems and embark on the onboarding process
Setting the proper foundation for an API marketplace
The growth of APIs has added complexity to their adoption — a scenario Ryan puts into perspective during the API marketplace webinar.
“There are 500 APIs or more spread across the enterprise, internal and external, with 20 or more projects demanding access, independent teams building services on multiple platforms, managing their own security,” he stated. “That sprawl and complexity are pretty significant barriers to adoption.”
While building an API marketplace is critical to API adoption, it’s one step in a series of steps to provide long-term value to your business.
1. Bring services together in a logical way
By investing in universal API management, businesses can have centralized visibility and data extending across all API platforms. Whether your consumer is internal or external, you’ll have the means to measure API consumption and engagement with all your APIs.
2. Validate, secure, and govern these services
Centralized visibility of APIs provides a holistic view of the policies used to control APIs while shedding light on unmanaged APIs vulnerable to threats and attacks. This ensures APIs are secure for consumption before being brought to the target market.
3. Define API products
Thinking about APIs as products extends the conversation beyond IT. It taps into considerations to make in the digital strategy around the interface, from how you’ll measure the quality of service inside the API package to how you’ll advertise and market your API to what kind of pricing/subscription plans you’ll put around the API.
4. Build a versatile API marketplace
As the shopfront for your API ecosystem, the API marketplace makes data exchange and experiences possible. By pairing relevant classification systems that cater to your marketplace’s current and future members with self-service capabilities that avoid bottlenecks, you can create a positive digital experience that drives API adoption.
5. Measure value and performance
From increased revenue to an improved Net Promoter Score (NPS), data from your API marketplace should give you the insights to measure what matters most. It can provide insights into the direct contributions of API delivery to your business outcomes and pinpoint areas for improvement to drive further engagement.
Get the most out of your digital investment
Before APIs can deliver measurable value to providers and consumers, they must first be discovered. While supporting the development and governance of APIs, the Amplify API Management Platform leverages a marketplace that makes it easy for people to find your APIs in today’s complex landscape, accelerates their adoption, and extends your reach into new markets.