Lightwell
CHAPTERS

The Business of APIs:
Best Practices

Discover best practices to 
drive business success through APIs

Courtesy of IBM and Lightwell

IBM Platinum Business Partner

Executive Summary

Many enterprises are planning their journey and participation in the API economy. Some view this plan as an IT initiative, but those who truly understand the potential are attacking it with a combination of business and IT perspectives. This content from our partner, IBM, focuses on best practices to drive success using this blend of business and IT. 

 

Determining an API economy strategy and planning a roadmap have several significant benefits:

API Economy

Consolidating and standardizing common APIs—or simply business services—within an organization

Lowering cost of operations by having a central repository and index of enterprise business services such as retrieve credit score

Accelerating digital projects and improving time to market with safe, quick access to business services by both internal and external parties

Identifying a partnership ecosystem—especially outside your own industry—to formulate new value-add products and services to be more competitive

Defining a new business model for monetization purposes such as a mobile marketplace; that is, curating your company’s business capabilities aggregated with your partners’ business capabilities to provide a diverse range of related or complementary services

In this ebook, we share best practices and lessons learned based on interactions between IBM and its clients. We focus on the core nontechnical aspects of executing an API initiative, including:

Business Strategy

Business

Strategy

Domain Ownership and Organizational Structure

Domain Ownership

and Organizational

Structure

Governance Model

Governance

Model

Monetization

Monetization

API Identification

API

Identification

Communication

Communication

Legal and Privacy

Legal and Privacy

Success Criteria and Metrics

Success Criteria

and Metrics

Technical Governance

Technical

Governance

For each area, we describe the issues and offer recommendations. In addition, we provide sample worksheets to help you organize your approach within that segment of the initiative.

 

This ebook is intended for business and IT leadership interested in jump-starting their API initiative by learning about best practices being used by other enterprises. It is not meant to be introductory, and prior knowledge of the basics of business APIs and the API economy is expected.

Introduction

Business Strategy

Domain Ownership and

Organizational Structure

Governance Model

Monetization
API Identification

Communication

Legal and Privacy

Success Criteria and Metrics

Technical Governance
Closing Thoughts and Recommendations

Introduction

Business Strategy

Domain Ownership and Organizational Structure

Governance Model

Monetization
API Identification

Communication

Legal and Privacy

Success Criteria and Metrics

Technical Governance
Closing Thoughts and Recommendations

The Business of APIs: Introduction

Emerging entrants and companies initiating new, market-changing offerings are disrupting many industries. Here are just a few examples:

  • Apple Pay is disrupting payment services
  • Smart cars are disrupting the automotive industry
  • Online commerce enterprises such as Alibaba are investing in the property and casualty insurance industry, disrupting it with new service models and offerings
  • Financial technology companies (fintechs) such as Betterment and Bats Chi-X have disrupted the high barrier to entering financial markets
  • Uber has disrupted transportation
  • Netflix has disrupted the media and entertainment industry
The Business of APIs

Click to Navigate:

Introduction

Business Strategy

Domain Ownership and

Organizational Structure

Governance Model

Monetization
API Identification

Communication

Legal and Privacy

Success Criteria and Metrics

Technical Governance
Closing Thoughts and Recommendations

The Business of APIs: Introduction (continued)

APIs give companies a mechanism to become the disrupter, or at a minimum to more rapidly respond when a disrupter enters their market segment. They offer an opportunity to bring significant value to a business. To capture this value, business and IT need to work together on the API initiative. This ebook is intended to address the less-technical—but no less challenging—issues of an API initiative:

  • Business strategy
  • Domain ownership and organizational structure
  • Governance model
  • Monetization
  • API identification
  • Communication
  • Legal and privacy
  • Success criteria and metrics
  • Technical governance

 

The Business of APIs
Left Arrow

Click to Navigate:

Introduction

Business Strategy

Domain Ownership and

Organizational Structure

Governance Model

Monetization
API Identification

Communication

Legal and Privacy

Success Criteria and Metrics

Technical Governance
Closing Thoughts and Recommendations

The Business of APIs: Introduction (continued)

Often, the early phases of an API initiative are led by IT, which in turn is focused on the technical implementation, architecture and security implications of adding APIs to the current IT environment.

 

 

All of these topics are important but are not covered in this ebook. Visit the IBM API Connect™ site on IBM developerWorks® and the IBM API Connect product website to learn how IBM can assist you with these technical aspects.

 

Additionally, this ebook is targeted toward enterprises that see APIs as a platform strategy, not an individual project. Individual project orientation may result in a quick initial project, but will not provide the best practices to drive the repeatability required to move forward at the enterprise level. Many of the most successful businesses using APIs view them instead as a corporate channel to market—a strategic asset.

Sample Worksheets image

Throughout the ebook, we include sample worksheets to help you gather and organize your approach to each topic. Some of these worksheets have fields prefilled with suggestions. You can use these worksheets to organize the initiative with your own data and choose to use or disregard the samples shown.‚Äč

Left Arrow
Left Arrow

Click to Navigate:

The Business of APIs - Best Practices

The Business of APIs:
Best Practices

Complete Form Below to Download 
the PDF Version of this Document