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Why a Holistically Conceived Digital Strategy is Key to Monetizing APIs

Are you watching from the sidelines as API economy darlings such as Stripe, Twilio, Google, and Amazon are directly or indirectly monetizing APIs and wondering how your organization can get in on the gold rush? If so, you are not alone.  

What’s the trick? Well, for starters, you need to realize that “to API or not to API?” is not a technology conversation. It’s a business conversation. While there are some exceptions to the rule, most companies that rely on technological reasons to justify their journey into the API economy end up failing or pivoting. Either way, it’s an expensive miscalculation that can be avoided. Contrary to popular belief, start with the anti-thesis to the API Field of Dreams:  “If you build it (an API), they (developers) will not come.”

Instead of caring about who will come, developers or otherwise, organizations should first develop an understanding of how, with the help of APIs, business outcomes and customer experiences that were previously unthinkable are now within the realm of possibility. Knowing what’s possible thanks to APIs, the chief information officer’s job is now the chief imagination officer. S/he advises business leaders and customer facing personnel from across the organization to ditch their preconceived notions and to reimagine game-changing business outcomes and end-to-end customer experiences.

Once those desired business outcomes and customer experiences are within hand, the organization can then start to envision the developer ecosystem that’s needed to enable them, who is a part of that ecosystem, what the business models are, what APIs are ultimately necessary, and even what those APIs are capable of.

To help organization’s visualize this ongoing process, MuleSoft, in partnership with ProgrammableWeb, has released an API Strategy Blueprint as a part of a free publication titled API Strategy Essentials and we’re making that paper available for download right here on ProgrammableWeb.