Digital transformation has become a necessity for many organizations. In short, it means to reimagine an organization’s structure and operations in the context of the new reality of customers, products, and supply chains becoming increasingly digital. APIs play an important role in digital transformation because a robust and dynamic API landscape is essential as a foundation for successful digital transformation initiatives. APIs merely are the technical reflection of what digital transformation really is all about: making it easier for an organization to change itself, to react to external changes such as customers or the competition, and to quickly gain insights into how well these changes work and how they can be further improved. In essence, APIs reflect an organizational structure that is loosely coupled, where connections can be made on demand and where flexibility is valued over optimization.
Erik Wilde and Mike Amundsen look at API landscapes in two ways. First, Erik and Mike highlight those aspects that contribute to the business value of APIs. These are issues such as findability, DX, loose coupling, and externalizability. Second, they look at tools to assess both the state of individual APIs and the state of the overall API landscape. For these assessments, they use the Continuous API Management (CAM) API compass, which provides a structure for better understanding the fitness of APIs and API landscapes. The goal is to provide a comprehensive overview of the various aspects that play into how APIs and API landscapes are an essential ingredient of digital transformation and how analyses and measurements can help to provide better insights into individual APIs and API landscape in organizations.
CAM focuses on a holistic view of individual APIs, their development cycles, their maturity journeys, and how they fit into an organization’s API landscape. For the API landscape, a similar structured view is provided, which provides an emphasis on specific aspects of the API landscape and how investments ideally should be made to improve the organization’s API landscape. Both the individual and the landscape view are complemented by a compass, which provides a structured analysis and thus helps with assessment and management.
Erik Wilde works on the Catalyst team at Axway. His goal is to make clients more successful by providing them with insights and guidance on their path toward API-centric architectures in particular, and on their digital transformation journey in general. Previously, he was an adjunct professor at UC Berkeley and worked at EMC, Siemens, CA Technologies, and Good API. Erik is active in the IETF and W3C communities. He holds a PhD from ETH Zurich.
Mike Amundsen is an internationally known author and speaker who travels the world discussing network architecture, web development, and the intersection of technology and society. He’s helped companies large and small capitalize on the opportunities provided by APIs, microservices, and digital transformation. He’s authored numerous books and papers and contributed to the O’Reilly book Continuous API Management. He’s the author of RESTful Web Clients and coauthor of Microservice Architecture. His latest book is Design and Build Great APIs (Pragmatic Publishing).
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