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Introduction to API Governance and Its Importance

The past few years have seen organizations adopting the use of APIs (Applications Programming Interfaces) to streamline their operations. APIs are computing interfaces that dictate the communications and sharing of data between applications. They have offered organizations a way to employ a loosely coupled architecture that makes innovation easier and faster.
They break the initial monolithic structures that organizations had been using, allowing them (organizations) to easily break applications, add new functionalities, and easily iterate as well as innovate. Their main objective is to reduce coupling and digitize all business processes in a way that is easy, straightforward, and fast. Apart from that, APIs have allowed organizations to easily reuse code when building new applications instead of having to build them from scratch.
However, organizations need to be very careful when building and implementing APIs. They cannot just decide to build APIs without having to look at accepted policies and regulations that dictate how APIs should be built. By following these policies, organizations are able to come up with APIs that can be used easily, adopted by any developer without major issues, and that meet all their expectations. This shows the importance of API governance.

What is API Governance?

API governance can be defined as the practice that involves following a set of rules that relate to API security policies and standards when building and implementing APIs. It requires developers to design and build APIs following an accepted model of data and reusable resources.
API governance is responsible for making sure that an API is discoverable, secure, reusable, consistent, standardized, and compliant to a set of regulations. It makes decision-making when creating APIs easy and guides developers into adopting models that work well with their APIs.

Why API Governance?

API governance is important when it comes to maximizing the value obtained from the use of an API. When building and implementing APIs, organizations need to make sure that the API does exactly what they wanted it to do, adds value to their business, and makes things easier than before.
It is also important in improving an API’s user experience in that developers can easily build other applications around the API. Apart from improving user experience, API governance is tasked with offering a seamless developer experience and making sure that APIs are beneficial to developers. This makes the process of building applications easy, fast, reliable, and secure.

Importance of API Governance

Review Cycles

API governance offers organizations essential review cycles that make sure that the entire process of building and implementing APIs is relevant, complies with existing and any new regulations, and fulfils the requirements of the organizations and their partners.
It defines the review cycles and makes sure that all established controls and mechanisms are followed. Organizations that implement poor API governance strategies are most likely to come up with APIs that are poor, that do not follow and comply with set regulations, and that are bound to fail within a short period of time.

Ensures Suitable Controls

API governance makes sure that organizations are implementing suitable controls and that they are enforcing them when required. For instance, it makes sure that important things such as security, access control, version management, and API auditing are enforced and all regulations with regards to them followed in the right way.
Enforcing suitable controls is very important for any organization implementing APIs. It makes sure that organizations follow key strategies that dictate the success of their APIs. For instance, when it comes to version management, following suitable controls ensures that clear steps are followed to make sure that any existing integrations are not broken and old versions are replaced with ease.
With API security, API governance makes sure that security protocols such as API access control and threat protection are enforced and are able to work with all APIs in the organization without any issues. Without this, APIs would not be secure, something that would expose an organization to threats and loss of sensitive data.

Businesses Need API Governance

API governance makes sure that organizations have an environment that they can use to build and implement APIs without any issues. It offers transparency to the general usage of APIs and makes sure that organizations follow accepted regulations when building APIs. This is important in making sure that they come up with APIs that work well and meet both their expectations and those of their customers.