Why API Governance and Integration Are the Heroes of Digital Transformation
September 07, 2023

Stefan Sigg
Software AG

Professional developers know the future will rely on APIs. The trend continues to increase: 63% of developers said they utilized APIs more in 2022 than the previous year. This surge in API investment is onset by its ability to help organizations deliver innovation and hold a competitive edge, making it a key part of smart digital strategies. However, just like any compelling superhero needs a loyal sidekick, APIs require a strong pairing.

APIs don't exist in a vacuum — they need a way to be tied to your backend systems. This is where a multi-function iPaaS can assist. When combined with the power of API governance to support DevOps, you've just equipped your team with its version of Batman and Robin, the heroes of your organization's digital transformation.

Work Smarter, Not Harder

Overcoming the challenges of digital transformation will require businesses to be smarter in how they use technology. To understand how APIs and API governance help sustain your organization's digital strategy, let's take a step back and review where iPaaS comes into the picture and the service it delivers.

An iPaaS — integrated Platform as a Service — is a cloud-based platform that provides automated tools for creating and managing integrations between applications. They essentially simplify your systems and data. The most basic levels of iPaaS connect a set list of common applications with simple, limited connectors, while the most advanced let you connect any application, data, device or process in a hybrid cloud environment designed for enterprise scale.

With several iPaaS options available for organizations to invest in, choosing a multi-function iPaaS to serve multiple needs of your organization is the most robust option. Multi-function iPaaS allows organizations to easily build the most complex API-led applications, and it's where the benefits of API governance enable developers to provide the best value for their organization.

The global market share value of iPaaS solutions is expected to grow from $9 billion in 2023 to $43 billion by 2028 as the requirements for advanced systems continue to be driven by the expansion of digital transformation. While API integration helps orchestrate all the different systems involved with SaaS, API governance helps keep that orchestration sustainable.

Governance Taking on a New Status Quo

In the tech industry, governance can seem like a necessary evil. DevOps teams, in particular, can often feel they are taking on unnecessary labor to meet the requirements of something that does not contribute to their project's business outcomes. However, API governance is making a comeback in the SaaS industry as more organizations are investing in iPaaS solutions.

API governance is defined as a comprehensive set of guidelines and practices. It is a domain that encompasses many things: quality assurance, performance testing, security assessments, lifecycle management, monitoring and more.

When API governance is implemented to empower teams with productivity rather than unnecessary labor, it actually becomes an organization's hidden gem that enables them to focus on delivering the utmost value.

Putting it All Together

The traditional approaches to integrating and updating APIs can significantly drain on development resources. Choosing a multi-function iPaaS to manage integrations centrally not only simplifies and accelerates deployment, but also allows integrators to easily create workflows, freeing up your developers to spend more time building the software and services your organization needs to achieve strategic goals. An iPaaS allows you to build custom integrations, convert them to APIs and push them to a gateway that enforces appropriate usage and security protocols.

Once your organization has built the API integration infrastructure, you can begin to design API governance processes. While this can seem daunting for tech leaders, flexibility is key. They should start with what makes sense for their business strategy. Begin to embed governance within your DevOps processes to start delivering software more naturally and adapt as requirements shift. And where there are APIs, there are integrations. That's why a pragmatic approach to APIs and integration is critical — one that aligns with business priorities — and your iPaaS should be able to support that.

Upgrading Your Organization's Digital Strategy (In the Age of AI)

The future of your organization's digital transformation relies more on the power of APIs and integration especially as the technology landscape becomes more robust. Technology leaders understand the need to move beyond legacy infrastructures to remain competitive. With massive innovations happening across most tech industries such as cloud computing, big data and IoT, the requirements needed to maintain these advancements continue to drive the expansion of API integration solutions for operational processes and thus a strong need for governance to keep integration systems sustainable.

And it wouldn't be a 2023 technology discussion if we didn't mention the potential impacts of generative AI on integration platforms. They are currently still unveiling themselves as that form of technology continues to permeate throughout the enterprise. But by implementing the tactics we've discussed, building the foundation of a strong API integration infrastructure supported by strategic and flexible API governance design — your organization's Batman and Robin — you can feel confident that your business is equipped to manage whatever trending innovations inevitably begin to creep their way into your strategy.

Stefan Sigg is CPO of Software AG
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