Many companies have an open API strategy or are working on its development. An open API strategy is based on the exposure of APIs in Developer Portals and is to be consumed by partner companies developers.
First of all, it’s important to understand the details of this current approach:
- APIs are planned with the point of view of sales and, in some cases, of an isolated project;
- Developer Portals are necessary to onboard partners, developers and communicate documentation;
- An active Sales team is required to promote the APIs.
And also to understand its pain points:
- APIs can be limited to some projects, but not interchangeable between many projects;
- APIs concepts are way too technical for the Sales team to work with;
- Technical pre sales is demanded;
- A developer portal needs attention and must support developers;
- A developer portal needs a community manager to engage people;
- The friction within the developers is due to the lack of documentation and support;
- There’s a gap between business people and technicians, because a developer portal is made for developers;
- Sometimes the partner needs the service, but doesn’t want to develop;
- In some cases, the involved companies even have the APIs, but nobody wants to create the middle integration.
Given all that, these are my suggestions:
- APIs must be planned with a strategic sales point of view to reach a large market scope;
- APIs must be well designed;
- Business cases demonstrate the potential of APIs;
- It’s vital to have a well planned developer portal, with documentation and samples to developers;
- A cloud native HIP* that accelerates development of integrations of your API with your partner APIs or systems must be considered;
- HIPs can modernize your IT and enable APIs whenever necessary;
- HIPs can provide ready-to-be-used business cases.
*HIP — Hybrid Integration Platform is a solution that eases integrations through the use of a Low-Code approach. This kind of solution works for many integration types and helps to accelerate the interaction with partners and your legacy systems.
To sum up, the experience of your partner — whether business people or developers — is the key point and a HIP approach can enable you to sell with less or even no friction at all.