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Why you need API Management

Implementing integrations and APIs isn’t a ‘once and done’ process. With ever-evolving technology, customer needs and business requirements, the initial version of an API is rarely in its final form. In fact, it is likely to go through many changes before it reaches the end of its useful life.

Ongoing discovery is a necessary part of utilising integrations and API management is the key to doing so successfully. 

Learn more: PodSpot #21 - API Basics and HubSpot

What is API management?

API management is the process of creating, overseeing, controlling and analysing APIs in a secure environment. Essentially, it’s there to make sure that the needs of developers, users and your business are all being met in a safe and scalable manner. 

The actual process of management can differ from one business to another, but it tends to include: security, monitoring and analysis, and version control.

  • Security - Making sure that all of the data being transferred between applications is secure and unable to be harvested or tampered with
  • Monitoring and Analysis - Observing how the API is running, determining any points of failure and finding ways to optimise or scale
  • Version Control - Providing transparency and a single source of truth to ensure both visibility for all stakeholders and data consistenc

Why is it important?

API management is an essential part of any integrations implementation within your business. The use of APIs exposes data to additional risks as it passes between different pieces of software. Additionally, APIs and integrations are frequently used to enhance customer experience. Both of these require managing to prevent losses or leaks.

You can divide API management into three basic elements: Security, Scalability and Governance, and Analysis.

Learn more: PodSpot #22 - Managing integrations

Security

By their nature, APIs manage and send vast amounts of data between applications which can present a security risk. Well-managed APIs and integrations are better able to negate or mitigate security threats and provide protection. 

For API security to be successful, it needs to go beyond simple authentication and authorised users. Clear policies and procedures must be put in place to prevent data leaks or compromises. These need to include consistent documentation policies and provide centralised visibility to limit potential threats.

Scalability & Governance

During the lifecycle of an API, it is likely that continual updates and iterative changes will be required. You’ll need to be constantly considering whether or not the API is continuing to serve its original function.

Good management enables businesses to be aware of new needs, make changes and document them as they happen. It also ensures greater visibility throughout the business which promotes better governance of both the API itself and the data that it manages. 

Having such management in place can make this process more agile, adaptable and proactive by allowing teams to make these changes before problems occur.

Analysis

The final element of API management is analysis. Without a management process, acquiring information about the success of an API can be laborious. However, utilising API management can give you better insight into how well the API is working for you.

The information that you gather through management can help you develop and advance the API and user experience. It empowers teams to better measure the API’s impact and make data-driven decisions about how to progress. Good API management also helps analyse effectiveness and can let you know whether or not changes need to be made for continued success.

Are you ready to start considering API management? Talk to us about your API management needs.

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