apidays London 2023 - When to soar and when to dive, Claire Barrett, APIsFirst

apidays
apidaysapidays
When to soar
and when to dive
The practicalities of keeping strategy and
API execution in balance
September 2023
Helping people and teams realise the full
potential of APIs
>50k hours consulting and being consulted to
on IT-enabled strategy and execution
Keeping it human
Director, APIsFirst
www.linkedin.com/in/claire-global
Co-founder, The API Collective
www.theapicollective.com
Global lead for Women In APIs
apidays.global/initiatives-women-in-apis
Topics
Current strategic climate for APIs
How it’s playing out for 3 scenarios
● What it feels like from an API perspective
● Where to focus: zoomed out vs close-up
What works… from a people perspective
90% of C-level and senior leaders say their
organizations have pursued at least one
large-scale digital transformation in the
past two years.
McKinsey 2022
3 scenarios (fictional)
● Ship building
● Major surgery
● Social activism
Scenario 1
Ship building
Complex legacy backend overhaul
and rewiring
Already in year 2+
API investment focus:
● new/better integration
● composability and reuse
● API discoverability, management
and governance
Execution focus.
Photograph from www.pexels.com
What it feels like on the ground
What’s going well
Growing, centralised API portfolio
API standards and expectations
Architectural context for APIs
API education - at least in principle
Response to open standards etc
What needs attention
“Tech’s got it covered.”
API sprawl
API governance bottleneck/s
API portfolio risk profile
Motivation for (re)use of others’ APIs
APIs-as-products mindset
“We’re a digital company”
Operating model change from Project to
Product
API investment focus:
● Data and API products
● API monetisation
● New digital products
Emphasis on long-running teams; nimble
ways of working
Scenario 2
Major surgery
Photograph from www.pexels.com
What it feels like on the ground
What’s going well
Strategic / executive buy-in for
digitalisation
Opportunities for earlier and more
bluesky API-related thinking
Tech sector hires bringing in new
cultural norms and expectations
What needs attention
Engineers-as-customers
API-related processes in adjacent
functions
Success cases beyond customer
pain points
E2E support models for digital
products
Scenario 3
Social activism
Leadership direction towards social
responsibilities / ESG
API investments focus:
● Open source / community
platforms
● Ethical and green software
● Public APIs
Talent and connection to generational
influences
Photograph from www.pexels.com
What it feels like on the ground
What’s going well
Talent attraction and retention
Investors and customers due to
visibility in ESG
External-facing APIs getting use by
a lot by conscious API consumers
What’s needing attention
Avoiding unintentional greenwashing
Workforce and skills in ESG ‘angles’ and
use cases
Measurement systems that match the
API design and deployment promise
API product management mindset and
discipline
Some or all of these may be playing
out right now
Takeaways
Strategic context is in flux
People are trying to make
sense of it
There are many practical ways
to move forward…if you stay
balanced
1 von 13

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apidays London 2023 - When to soar and when to dive, Claire Barrett, APIsFirst

  • 1. When to soar and when to dive The practicalities of keeping strategy and API execution in balance September 2023
  • 2. Helping people and teams realise the full potential of APIs >50k hours consulting and being consulted to on IT-enabled strategy and execution Keeping it human Director, APIsFirst www.linkedin.com/in/claire-global Co-founder, The API Collective www.theapicollective.com Global lead for Women In APIs apidays.global/initiatives-women-in-apis
  • 3. Topics Current strategic climate for APIs How it’s playing out for 3 scenarios ● What it feels like from an API perspective ● Where to focus: zoomed out vs close-up What works… from a people perspective
  • 4. 90% of C-level and senior leaders say their organizations have pursued at least one large-scale digital transformation in the past two years. McKinsey 2022
  • 5. 3 scenarios (fictional) ● Ship building ● Major surgery ● Social activism
  • 6. Scenario 1 Ship building Complex legacy backend overhaul and rewiring Already in year 2+ API investment focus: ● new/better integration ● composability and reuse ● API discoverability, management and governance Execution focus. Photograph from www.pexels.com
  • 7. What it feels like on the ground What’s going well Growing, centralised API portfolio API standards and expectations Architectural context for APIs API education - at least in principle Response to open standards etc What needs attention “Tech’s got it covered.” API sprawl API governance bottleneck/s API portfolio risk profile Motivation for (re)use of others’ APIs APIs-as-products mindset
  • 8. “We’re a digital company” Operating model change from Project to Product API investment focus: ● Data and API products ● API monetisation ● New digital products Emphasis on long-running teams; nimble ways of working Scenario 2 Major surgery Photograph from www.pexels.com
  • 9. What it feels like on the ground What’s going well Strategic / executive buy-in for digitalisation Opportunities for earlier and more bluesky API-related thinking Tech sector hires bringing in new cultural norms and expectations What needs attention Engineers-as-customers API-related processes in adjacent functions Success cases beyond customer pain points E2E support models for digital products
  • 10. Scenario 3 Social activism Leadership direction towards social responsibilities / ESG API investments focus: ● Open source / community platforms ● Ethical and green software ● Public APIs Talent and connection to generational influences Photograph from www.pexels.com
  • 11. What it feels like on the ground What’s going well Talent attraction and retention Investors and customers due to visibility in ESG External-facing APIs getting use by a lot by conscious API consumers What’s needing attention Avoiding unintentional greenwashing Workforce and skills in ESG ‘angles’ and use cases Measurement systems that match the API design and deployment promise API product management mindset and discipline
  • 12. Some or all of these may be playing out right now
  • 13. Takeaways Strategic context is in flux People are trying to make sense of it There are many practical ways to move forward…if you stay balanced