Good API Management Is Good For Business

    By Amina Abdurrahman, Senior Technology Consultant

    Amina Abdurrahman

    Most organisations now rely on APIs for seamless access to external services and data through integrations. Notably, entities such as banks find themselves compelled by regulatory requirements to also employ APIs for internal service access. The pivotal factor influencing the user experience quality hinges on how these APIs are managed.

    Take, for instance, the scenario of an e-commerce site. A customer navigates through the site, exploring inventory, selecting items for purchase, and configuring payment and delivery details—all within a unified user interface. Various systems seamlessly integrate into the e-commerce site through their individual APIs, enabling customers to perform multiple activities on a single interface.

    However, any disruptions in the connectivity of these APIs can mar this otherwise smooth process, causing a decline in the quality of user experience. Such interruptions have the potential to divert customers to competitors, posing a threat to revenue and market share. This emphasizes the paramount importance of implementing robust API management practices. Notably, the API management market is anticipated to witness substantial growth, with projections soaring from £4.54 billion in 2022 to an estimated $27.32 billion by 2030.

    APIGEE

    API management is the process for building, publishing, administering and analysing APIs to ensure that traffic is running smoothly and APIs are being consumed as intended.

    BJSS has established a partnership with Google Cloud, leveraging their cloud-native API management tool, Apigee. This collaboration empowers clients to excel in effective API management, emphasising aspects of design, deployment, and analytics. Apigee delivers many benefits, including advanced API security that integrates seamlessly with Google Cloud Platform (GCP) services, ensuring a robust security framework for APIs.

    Apigee also features an API Hub to enhance developer efficiency, offering a more streamlined experience in managing API monetisation. It further provides built-in hosting and region expansion capabilities, contributing to increased flexibility and scalability. With enhanced API monitoring and detailed analytics, clients benefit from a modern and integrated approach to API analytics.

    Notably, Apigee also offers native integration with various Google Cloud services, such as load balancing with Cloud Armor and Cloud Logging. This comprehensive suite of features underscores the commitment to providing clients with a powerful and versatile toolset for their API management needs.

    Leveraging Apigee For Client Success

    BJSS has worked with its close partner Google Cloud to carry out discovery with a client on migrating internally and externally hosted APIs onto Google Cloud’s Apigee X, in a three-part process:

    1. Foundation:

    During this phase, it is imperative to ensure that all the prerequisites for enabling the migration of APIs have been met. This includes documenting current and future business requirements and assessing them against the new API management platform to ensure fulfilment of all requirements. This step is essential for guaranteeing that the new solution under consideration will not impact business continuity. Other factors to consider during this phase involve establishing naming conventions, environments, environment groups, connectivity, and networking within the new Apigee instance in preparation for migration.

    1. Migration:

    During this phase, it is essential to set up and test the APIs on the X instance, including their associated policies and shared flows, to ensure that the APIs are functioning as intended. Road-testing of new features, such as the API hub for developer efficiency and advanced API security for anomaly detection, allows for an assessment of the additional benefits available to the organization from Apigee X.

    1. Full migration planning:

    Development of a full-scale migration plan that outlines the approach to migration across all impacted business units and provides a qualitative assessment of key benefits, including expected time frames for realizing benefits in impacted business areas.

    Considering API Management?

    If you’re considering API management and migrating onto a different management platform there are a number of issues to consider:

    Scaled growth of traffic

    As the market shift to more cloud hosted solutions, one of the determining factors of cost will be volumes of traffic. How do you anticipate traffic through API gateways to grow over time and how will your API management platform and processes be equipped to meet this.

    Architectural feasibility

    Is your organisation’s architecture aligned with the products architecture? What are the steps that you can take to establish architectural fit with the solution that you are considering? Considering architectural feasibility could involve making decisions on your organisation’s network topology, or recruiting or training people to ensure the right skills are in place to support your transition.

    Business viability

    Assess whether your operating model aligns with your API management strategy. Ensure that you have the appropriate teams with the right skills in place to effectively manage APIs and execute the API management vision.

    Effort to migrate

    Before migrating APIs you need to consider how many there are and which are essential to the core and supporting business functions. This will ensure that redundancies are not carried across in the transition. You should also consider if the migration will be manual or automated. Utilising automation in the migration will help reduce costs and effort required to complete the transition.

    Consider the impact of change

    Transitioning to a new platform can be disruptive if following a ‘big bang’ approach. We instead propose adopting a phased migration approach to facilitate incremental changes across the organisation. This allows lessons learned to be captured and applied iteratively to subsequent migration phases, gradually enhancing the quality of the change experience throughout the migration process. It is crucial to establish a dedicated change management team to oversee the transition, providing support to both the migration team and the wider business.