In this concluding part of the blog post series on API management for CxOs, our emphasis is on the business metrics. In part 2 and part 3 of this series, we covered CIO and CTO’s responsibilities, respectively. These two C-level roles have the most significant stakeholdership in spearheading the API-led transformation. Therefore, the successful execution of their strategies leads to a positive impact on specific business metrics that stand to gain from enterprise-wide API adoption.
Key business metrics impacted by API-led transformation
Every organizational initiative boils down to identifying and improving specific business metrics. These metrics form the basis of the key result areas that are tracked by the management team.
A successful API-led transformation results in a sustained, far-reaching API adoption that benefits all the stakeholders and external partners. For an objective assessment of its impact, the C-level leadership must direct their focus on the health of a few critical business metrics.
- Business Reporting: Business reporting provides a single source of truth for the various operating and financial metrics about a company’s business. It takes multiple mediums such as dashboards, documents, web pages, and email messages. When it comes to acting upon a change request in business reporting, things can take time. The concerned departments or business units responsible for the change have to figure out the nuances for either capturing additional information or altering the reporting format. With an API, the management of business reporting gets streamlined. The key result areas include faster and more coherent processes for change management of business reporting.
- Team Productivity: With a well-designed API ecosystem within the organization, different teams or individuals can quickly discover APIs for specific needs. This has a direct positive impact on teams’ productivity who rely on different APIs for their day-to-day operational needs. The productivity gains can be measured based on the completion rate of individual activities by employees, before and after the integration with API.
- Process Efficiency: One of the immediate benefits of strong API adoption is the ease of business process automation. Often, different departments or business units have to interact with each other for process adherence. It happens for several inter-departmental processes, or for consultation on a high impact business decision that requires opinions from multiple stakeholders across the board. Whatever the case may be, having an API led approach expedites the turnaround time of process execution by many folds. In this case, the key result area is to accelerate the process execution and faster time to closure.
- Information Delivery: Every organization has various channels for information delivery. In many cases, this mechanism is also closely tied to business reporting. However, unlike push-based information sharing via different reporting mediums, some sharing tools are pull-based. For example, a company may offer an interface to run ad-hoc queries for external partners to build a self-service reporting mechanism, rather than deliver a report. APIs provide a secure and consistent interface for serving such requests. Similar to improvements in change management of business reporting, change management in information delivery mechanisms, can also be improved by APIs.
- Information Security Compliance: When there is an enterprise-wide mandate to access certain information only through a secured API, it becomes much easier to audit the information security risks. Compare this with the pre-API era malpractices of ad-hoc data sharing through file transfers, email attachments, or external storage devices. Such situations cause challenges in audit and compliance due to the lack of traceability of the source of information. A well-orchestrated API management system enables tracking data back to its API, and the events and operations performed on the API. The overall key result area involves improving the audit process and enforcing traceability of all information so that the compliance SOPs gets expedited.
- Earnings: If API monetization is the primary motivation for an organization, this metric will take precedence over everything else. In this case, a company developing a commercial API would want to track all the business metrics associated with earnings from the API subscriptions. Here, the role of the CEO is also of relevance apart from the CIO and CTO. The CEO drives top-line growth, directly impacting the revenues and profits. In contrast, the CIO and CTO manage the factors that affect bottom-line performance, such as costs, expenses, and margins.
How Rakuten RapidAPI helps the CxOs
Rakuten RapidAPI Enterprise Hub is a one-stop solution that enables enterprises to embrace API-led transformation via effective API management practices. With the Enterprise Hub, CxOs are in total control of the API management processes and policies. The Enterprise Hub gives them complete control over the API governance, access control, monitoring, and analytics. It also leverages the Rakuten RapidAPI marketplace, the world’s largest API marketplace with over ten thousand APIs.