An API Management Center of Excellence is still one of the cornerstones for the success of any API Management initiative

Have you read part 1, 2 and 3?

This is part 4 in a series on Self-service API Management. To fully understand this matter we advise you to read part 1 part 2  and part 3 of this series first.

Ready for part 4? Start here!

The fact that API Management should be positioned as a Self-service ecosystem where the platform is in the hands of the user community, does not mean that an API Management experts team (or center of excellence) should not exist within an organization.

So far I presented Self-service API Management as being the exposure and consumption of APIs. But what about the remaining Platform tasks, such as setup, evolution, governance and operations? A center of excellence is the answer to this question.

On a high level, this group should be responsible for:

  • Design the infra: calculate the sizing; design the high availability and failover (Single-site? Multi-site? Elasticity? Private cloud? IaaS? SaaS?). Done together with the software vendor and the organization’s infra team
  • [if not fully SaaS] Rollout the platform: install and configure the software. Done together with the software vendor
  • [if not fully SaaS] Operate and evolve the platform: support the correct functioning of the platform (ops levels 2 and 3); apply patches; enable new features to be used by the user community; manage Trouble Tickets.
  • [if not fully SaaS] Test the platform: test high availability and failover; test and benchmark the performance.
  • Integrate with existing IT landscape, extending the capabilities of the API Management ecosystem: Monitoring; Reporting and Analytics; Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery (CI/CD); Identity & Access Management (I&AM); Billing (for directly monetized APIs).
  • Design and implement CI/CD processes. Enable processes common to all teams wanting to leverage the platform.
  • Define API exposure and consumption standards and best practices. Done together with the organization’s IT Security and Identity & Access Management teams
  • Enforce end-to-end governance: make sure all APIs configured on the platform are so according to the existing standards and best practices; review all assets added to the platform; govern API lifecycle.
  • Enable connectivity for newly registered APIs (if required). Done together with the organization’s infra team
  • Drive developer and partner adoption, providing platform training to new users.
  • Govern platform user access, including granting special permissions when applicable.

The practice however demonstrates that there will always be some asset owners that for various reasons will not be subscribing to the API Management Self-service. In this scenario the CoE will also be taking the ownership of the assets configuration, supporting the Delivery process.

Typical examples are the configuration of SaaS and COTS Application APIs.

Would you like to know more about API Management?

TMNS can assist your organization with workshops on the topics. Our consultants have led API Management platform rollout processes in multiple domains and will guide you in the creation of an API center of excellence delivering consumer grade APIs.