With apologies to the many people I know with some version of it in their title, API Strategy is dead. Long live API strategy, inseparably linked to business strategy. Perhaps a better way to put it is that API strategy has grown up. But it’s the opposite of when humans reach maturity and move out of their parents house. In this case, API strategy is moving in, because it’s all part of the same household now.
When looking at API growth, it’s common for us and others to look at the history of the web for guidance. In the mid-nineties, people were still asking if they needed a website. By 2000, it was clear that every business needed at least one website and probably specific sites for each product.
Fast forward to today and hopefully no board rooms are asking “what’s our web strategy?” That’s because the web has matured to the point where it is inseparable from business strategy. The same is happening with APIs, but we’re just too early in that process to see it. Once there are one million APIs, perhaps it will be clear in retrospect.
Of course every company will have an API, the same way every company has a website. The question shouldn’t be “what’s our API strategy?” Companies should be looking at how their existing (or evolving) business strategy can be further distributed via API.
APIs are no longer technical nice-to-haves. The New API is Apps, Partners and Income. Your business is baked into your API.