The company expanded its products and services by acquiring another company in 2015. New API's or integrations were quickly built between the mutual portfolios of applications, and duplicated capabilities or applications were consolidated where it was easy.
Then the effort became challenging.
API's were not always used as envisioned due to misaligned upgrade plans, or a lack of capability or data provided by the API's. Awareness and communication were problematic across the consolidated IT team.
Customers were impacted when a non-versioned API was changed, but a consuming application of that API was not updated to align with the change.
They were on the fringe of "spaghetti services" (a tangled mess of various integrations).
A path forward:
In late 2016 the company realized they needed a cohesive vision and approach. They identified three states of transition.
- Current. Where they are today.
- Ideal. Consolidation of IT capabilities, upgrading applications where beneficial, and maximizing API utilization to avoid duplicity.
- Improved. Incremental changes in 2017 and 2018, striving for Ideal in 2019.
They defined Ideal API Management as:
- Understand their landscape. Be able to look for opportunities for new API's, or enhancements to existing API's to facilitate consolidation.
- Avoid further duplicity. When an API goes live then it generally should replace one or more existing integrations.
- N-1 versions of an API. Not N-0 since that was already problematic. Not N-2 or N-3 due to the risk and cost of simultaneously maintaining three or four versions of an API.
- No outages or customer impacts due to API transitions. An API and its consumers will communicate lifecycles and mutually plan future transitions.
How 8folios is part of their path to an Ideal state:
- A Where Used blueprint - not just for the API's, but to understand the larger landscape of existing applications and integrations. This makes it easier to see opportunities.
- Awareness of data, which is integrated with the Where Used blueprint. This includes understanding data lineage and data sensitivity.
- Coordinated IT Roadmaps. The lifecycle of each API version is published. Similarly, the lifecycle of each consuming application or integration is published. It is easy to see the disconnects regarding transitions, and force conversations across the IT teams.
What could your organization accomplish with 8folios?
Create a free account, and see how quickly IT can blueprint three applications and their associated API's or integrations, data, and technologies. Or, let us give you a 30-minute demo of 8folios.
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