API Evangelization: How to run a successful API program

25. February 2020

 

Let’s immediately start off by providing some clarity to the term API Evangelization:

“The API Evangelist is a person who bridges the gap between business units and developers, in order to promote the adoption of the APIs.”

However, before we continue discussing API Evangelization, let me give some context to this definition first.

Businesses often struggle with understanding the value of API Management

API management offers security agility, developer engagement and complete control over data and visibility of the APIs. It enables you to hide the complexity of disparate systems of records/back-end systems and simplifies the delivery of services to an ever-expanding variety of devices. Additionally, API Management enables business owners to quickly add new features. However, based on personal experience, it seems that businesses often struggle to understand the value API management. Below are some of the most recurring questions that business want answers to:

  • Why API management? 
  • Do I need API management?
  • Are there any potential use cases that will utilize API management features?
    – I have a potential use case, but how do I get started?
  • There are many API platform providers in the market, which one should I choose?
    – Which offering would be suitable for me on-premise, public (SaaS), private or hybrid? 
  • How to position API management in enterprise architecture?
  • How to enable API discovery and self sign-up for the developer community?
  • How to engage the developer community internally and externally? (go-to-market strategy)
  • How to involve cross units within an organization so they start using an API platform? (adoption and onboarding)
  • How to increase knowledge within/out organization? (Knowledge repository)
  • How to set up a community of practices/CoE?
  • How to get continuous feedback from the developer community?
  • How will we measure success/make money from this? (metrics/revenue strategy)
  • What factors are critical to success? (solution requirements)

App developers also seem to look for a well-documented developer portal where they can discover APIs, register themselves with a hassle-free self-sign up process, have access to platform SDKs and post questions on community forums (read/write blogs, sharing experiences).

The bottom line is that you might see some organizations have a successful kick-off with their API Programs and initial use cases, but in reality, many organizations struggle to continue the program due to the lack of understanding, awareness, and adoption within their developer community.

So how can you overcome this struggle?

You might want to consider API Evangelization

One of the possible ways to overcome these challenges is with API Evangelization. As mentioned at the beginning of this blog, an API Evangelist is someone who listens to both the business units and developers, while maintaining open communication to ensure everyone is on the same page. An API Evangelist is set out to be the bridge between business units, developer and architects. This role is often being fulfilled by someone internal to the organization. 

The API Evangelist has certain key responsibilities. First of all, the Evangelist has to be able to promote the usage of APIs as a core ingredient in fast, secure and reliable exchanges of data. Secondly, there should be alignment and contribution to the enterprise’s digital strategy, while creating relationships with business, developers and API Teams. Additionally, the API Evangelist proactively escalates issues, observations, opportunities and insights to the API team. And lastly, the Evangelist owns the developer outreach and for building the developer community & experience

If you consider having an API Evangelist in your organization, make sure that particular person has experience with business models, use cases, road-maps, and priorities. An understanding of architectural and technical concepts in the digital economy is of critical importance as well. And to end things off, the potential Evangelist should actively participate in the world of social media and seeking input from others.

Is API Evangelization clear to you now? Yes? Good! 

Are you completely able to position an API Evangelist in your enterprise now too? No? Good!

Obviously we can help you with API Evangelization!

We offer guidance in your journey to bring API solutions to your business by:

  1. Aligning with and contributing to your enterprise’s digital strategy.
  2. Building relationships with the business units and developers to promote and accelerate the adoption of APIs.
  3. Identifying business synergies within the enterprise, where APIs become core ingredients in B2B, B2C, B2E, and B2D, facilitating a fast, secure and reliable exchange of data.

API Management solutions to unlock your business

Are you convinced of the need for investing in API Management, or perhaps planning a rollout of a new API Management Platform? We have partnerships with multiple vendors and can assist you throughout the whole process, from RFP to platform enablement and platform adoption. Our consultants have led rollout processes in multiple domains and will guide you in the creation of an API center of expertise delivering consumer-grade APIs.

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Contact

Kuldeep Bhati

API Management Architect