5 Best Practices for Effective API Governance
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5 Best Practices for Effective API Governance

Darshan Shivashankar Founder, CTO

What do we think of when someone mentions an industry's "best practices"? By definition, best practices are the models for techniques and methods agreed upon by the wider community in an industry as superior to alternative options. Without good governance at every stage of an API's lifecycle, our entire digital architecture becomes increasingly vulnerable to errors and security threats. With so much at stake, we should not underestimate the importance of setting and achieving best practices in API governance.

A secure and reliable API architecture comes from API-design-first thinking that offers developers complete control over the design and development of their products. An API-first approach combines vision and innovation with low-code design and management software to make it easy for developers to govern at top-industry standards. According to Forbes, good API governance can even be "weaponized" by CIOs for strategic importance.

By maintaining good governance at every stage of an API lifecycle, developers can produce reliable and trustworthy products that spread resilience throughout our shared digital ecosystems. With that in mind, we're sharing our five best practices for effective API governance.

1. Centralize and Standardize

Good API governance makes it easier for businesses to scale and expand their operation boundaries because sharing information and data becomes more straightforward. That's where centralization and the standardization of API templates, blueprints, and documentation comes into play. With the variety and number of APIs available, complexity issues can be reduced by creating organization-wide consistency, so those working with APIs aren't reinventing the wheel every time there's a new product or update.

2. Prioritize People

Creating a company culture where people can discuss and experiment is crucial to cultivating organization best practices. Best practices are formed from a democratic process of mutual decision-making, which should often be revisited to stay relevant and updated. Working from a unified platform furthers a sense of team collaboration, so people feel open and willing to voice ideas and changes and make sure nothing is lost in the process. Whether you meet together, in-person or online, continuously reviewing best practices is one-way businesses can foster innovation and maintain high standards.

3. Train and Retrain

In addition to meeting regularly to discuss best practices for APIs, it's essential to make sure staff are also up-to-date with their training. Skilled developers are in shortage as demand continues to outstrip supply in the hiring market. As the digital transformation of business and services continues to grow, companies can benefit from upskilling workers rather than searching in sparse pools for new talent. Leveraging solutions such as a low-code approach that reduces friction and helps improve productivity. Providing the right tools and environment to make upskilling and training possible is part of an employee's responsibility to ensure best practices.

4. Get the Right Tools

The right software tools need to be in place for best practices to be effective. Low-code API management software helps developers build consistent standards to create, apply, and maintain their APIs simply from one platform, ensuring the best governance possible. From a single, low-code platform, like APIwiz, developers can more easily map API distribution, manage API synchronizations, and establish consistent standards as they maintain a repository of existing APIs and strategically curated collections.

5. Review and reassess

With the problems of API sprawl – when the number of APIs being managed over multiple platforms becomes overwhelming – looming in many developers' and IT managers' minds, it's no surprise that the industry is demanding better management and security in 2022. The needs and issues of a particular API will change throughout its lifecycle, so teams should review them regularly to prevent vulnerabilities from occurring. Developers should be aware of this and set regular, recurring meetings to make assessments and implement any necessary improvements that may arise. Effective API governance means more than just good API management. Good governance comes from the conscientious thinking behind the structured processes that go into that management. Having the right toolset available to execute ideas and maintain standards makes good governance possible, which is why centralized, low-code platforms are vital to achieving best practices. If you're interested in seeing what an API management platform could do for you, start a trial for free.

To see how APIwiz helps enterprises remain competitive today, and prepares you for future success in the API economy, simply book your demo.


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