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Image descriptionThe past four years have shown skyrocketing API uptake and adoption rates. APIs as we know them are a ‘lifesaving’ interface in software applications. In light of this uptake, the question of API governance comes up informed by the vulnerability of API sprawls and possible technical debt among other major issues.

In this article, we are going to assess API governance as a strategy in the world of API guided by the latest reports, scientific predictions, and research in this area to help give a deeper understanding to organizations, developers, and managers alike.

API governance involves creating reliable, secure, and scalable policies and standards that manage the identification, adoption, and scalable implementation of APIs in software applications.
This helps effectively manage the API lifecycle and swiftly respond to API sprawls and threats.
API governance as a practice also helps organizations implement compliant APIs that are in line with industry regulations.
API governance, from the onset, brings together a collaborative mechanism that brings everyone on board.
With proper API governance, complexity, especially in large organizations, can be managed thus saving time in scaling and solving arising issues.

So, how does API governance influence the API First Approach?
Once a company or an organization determines that APIs would help them deliver better, then the API First Approach becomes an immediate concern to the current needs to be solved by adopting APIs.

The API-first approach is more than just a solution that gets adopted overnight. To achieve working, fast, and efficient applications, effectual governance is mandatory. Whether this means developing your APIs or employing pre-developed data APIs.

Poorly designed APIs affect the user experience directly and impede future scaling.
API governance comes in place of instituting set procedures, policies, and practices that guide developers from the development to the production stage.

Consistency in API governance is a standard that helps organizations keep track of their API lifecycles over and over. A code-first approach ignores creating a vision guide that guides employees on the precedented end of the application and the future growth of the organization’s services.
The major challenge that API governance helps solve is the cumulative effect of complex API ecosystems.
Secondly, poor governance could easily lead to developing solutions that aren’t in touch with the needs of the end user. Aligning your software service solutions with the objectives of the organization and toward customer satisfaction is key.

Data risk vulnerabilities are also addressed at the beginning of development to ensure necessary compliance and protection of customer data.
For example, the famous ISO/IEC 27005 framework is a standard on information risk security. Its controls has the following steps:
Establish and maintain certain information risk criteria
Identify risks associated with security, confidentiality, integrity, and availability
Repeated risk assessments and their results are comparable and consistent
According to the Salt Security report, 66% of companies acknowledge delaying deploying new applications into production due to concerns related to API security.

Automation is also factored in and employed to ease the process. For example, tasks such as API risk classification can be automated from the onset.
Development teams are also able to develop multiple APIs concurrently as distinctions are stipulated.


For optimal API governance, organizations ought to approach this major step as an encompassing solution mechanism as opposed to another mundane activity to be ticked off a certain list.
With the projected growth and uptake of APIs in the future standing at an excess of USD 18.62 billion by 2028, sprawls and security vulnerabilities will also become more rampant. Strategic cushioning by effectual governance and management will position organizations at swifter scaling levels as they grow.

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