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Are CIOs Ready to Mine a API Gold Rush?

 

By Aaron Sandeen, Phil Manfredi and Kiran Chinnagangannagari, Zuggand co-founders

APIs are a new bullion rush. And usually like a California bullion rush 166 years ago, there will be winners and losers. Fortunately, distinct that progressing push, fitness isn’t a large partial of a equation. Instead, CIOs who exercise a extensive strategy, encompassing a business, record and informative charge of a enterprise, can successfully cave APIs to boost profitability, emanate new business models and emanate closer, some-more prolific interactions with business and partners.

We know a opportunities and hurdles of adopting an API-driven business indication initial hand.

When a 3 of us began a tour as a IT care group for a state of Arizona, we immediately famous a large hurdles we faced. The state of IT was rarely decentralized, a systems and information were in silos, and tiny to no information pity was holding place. Budgets were tight, and usually a fragment of a $23 billion statewide bill was being spent on IT modernization. We knew a state could not means to continue this turn of inefficiency, so we tangible a strategy, altered a enlightenment and afterwards incited to record to residence these challenges. 

In a initial of a two-part series, we will prominence best practices and lessons schooled so that we can successfully use digital platforms and APIs to expostulate change in your organization. Part one will concentration on a business behind APIs and how to rise an API-centric culture, while partial dual will dive deeper into a record indispensable to make it happen.

Embrace change

Change is inevitable, generally in a context of today’s business environment.  It is no tip that many organizations face consistent disruption, and usually those that welcome change, and adapt, will survive. It is no longer tolerable for companies to allot a infancy of their budget, resources and appetite to simply regulating a business. Instead, corporate care contingency contend a change between regulating a business and changing it. As Socrates so elegantly said, “The tip of change is to concentration all of your appetite on building a new.”

In this context, a CIO represents a executive representative in initiating, progressing and nutritious change. Automation is great, though firms contingency deposit in a collection to clear a craving information for a business to precedence it. The enterprises that can successfully daub into a information and use it to change a proceed it provides services to business will win a battle. So where do we start heading this charge?

Stop behaving like a normal CIO

Although this story is essentially focused on a new practice with open sector, a private-sector investigate and knowledge tells us that a infancy of CIOs are presented with a same hurdles we faced.

The craving has spent years investing in a accumulation of systems on that a business depends for a operations. You, as a CIO, are obliged for ensuring a smoothness of those mission-critical systems. There are pockets of creation where business units are pity data, though there is no craving approach, and a integrations are simply one-off implementations. You, as a CIO, have been told that care needs entrance to all a craving data, and they need it today. And finally, a business is feeling outmost pressures from new platform-based companies (we like to call them “next era giants”) and needs to turn some-more nimble. And yes, you, as a CIO, have now been tasked with elucidate that problem with a tiny bill we have left.

As a CIO, your efficacy in a classification will come not from being a record expert. It will not come from being associating in a areas of scrum or flexible development.  And it will not come from essay and enforcing record policies that simply delayed down a business. As a CIO, your efficacy will come from intricately bargain a enterprise’s business and offered objectives, while leveraging record to capacitate a craving to accommodate those objectives. In other words, we contingency stop behaving like a normal CIO.

Align with a business and turn a partner

It’s loyal that APIs are during a heart of new business models and ecosystems pushing today’s enterprises. However, CIOs who wish to renovate their business regulating APIs contingency go over a record and start with clever module management. First, clearly define, request and promulgate to a business how an API devise and module will assistance a classification accommodate a objectives.  Provide use cases of how APIs can concede a classification to emanate new patron experiences, definitely change operational models, and frankly, interrupt how a classification has always run a business. No tech-speak. No design diagrams. No imagination mobile apps. Just concentration on business outcomes.

At a state of Arizona, there were pockets of creation function within some agencies, though a vital partial of a statewide devise was to use APIs to enable a state to change a proceed it provides services to a citizens, businesses and employees. We announced a Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG) as “every use accessible to any Arizonan, anywhere, any time.”  For a center tier, we summarized a devise to muster an API-centric craving services height called a Arizona Enterprise Services Platform (AESP). In addition, we tangible a roadmap to build an information heart that would concede citizens, businesses and employees to get personalized information from all state agencies in one place.

We shortly satisfied that implementing a record was going to be a easy part. The genuine plea was going to be communicating a value of information pity by APIs while ensuring we had a right people, processes and appropriation to make it a tolerable program.

Collaborate, prioritize and rise a plan

Once a business has bought in to your strategy, combine (notice we didn’t contend “have a meeting”) with a business to consider business risks, prioritize a initiatives, rise a budget, and determine on a tolerable movement plan. Explain that in sequence to safeguard clarity and partnership opposite a whole enterprise, we contingency have sum support from a care team. Then work closely with them to rise a communication devise for rolling out a API devise opposite a enterprise.

This valid to be one of a biggest hurdles during a state. With a totally decentralized enterprise, it was formidable to settle any arrange of charge to expostulate API adoption. Instead, we mostly had to work with particular agencies. For example, as an group took on a new project, a classification would insert itself into a plan capitulation routine to explain a value to a enterprise if it deployed a agency’s services on a new height and unprotected a information around a API store. Although we had some success with this approach, we knew it was not going to expostulate genuine change opposite a enterprise. We also indispensable to change a culture.

Change a culture

Driving digital mutation requires everybody to welcome a enlightenment of exploration and continual routine improvement. Automating bad processes usually gives we faster bad processes. Instead, ask questions like: How competence we use APIs to emanate new patron practice and expectations? How can we use APIs to rise innovative business and operational models? How can we occupy APIs to interrupt how a routine has always been done?

One of a inspirations has always been Peter Drucker, an teacher and author whose work severely impacted a business and enlightenment foundations of a modern-day corporation. Drucker was once quoted as saying, “Culture cooking devise for breakfast.” This became a clarion call in an try to change a enlightenment during a state. 

We incited to a private zone for examples of organizations that broach peculiarity services to their customers. One of a companies we researched was Amazon, that started as merely a Website for offered books. However, around 2002, Jeff Bezos released a charge that all inner teams contingency promulgate with any other around use interfaces, and all a interfaces contingency be done accessible to a outward world. Although it took a integrate of years for Amazon to finish a transformation, it altered from an online bookstore, to a absolute digital platform.

We incited to a conduct of a Digital Government module to lead a change, and we jointly grown a communication strategy. This tiny group became a Center of Excellence for digital mutation and began “selling” a API proceed to a group CIOs. We empowered them and supposing them with a time, bill and collection they indispensable to expostulate a program. On a other hand, we hold them accountable for a success (or failure) of a program. The terms APIs, craving services platform, digital transformation, routine automation, and digital capabilities all became partial of a bland language.

By a finish of 2014, a digital height was deployed in a private cloud and was being used by some-more than 75 agencies. Examples of API-driven services being leveraged opposite a craving embody group Websites, group directory, group services, worker directory, house information, and city and city information. The digital mutation module continues to grow today.

Once we have tangible your digital devise and have begun to change a culture, then, and usually then, should we start to demeanour during technology. Part dual of a tour will go into some-more fact about how we grown AESP, built on open-source technologies, to start to digitally renovate a state.

Authors Aaron Sandeen, Phil Manfredi, and Kiran Chinnagangannagari, co-founded IT consulting organisation Zuggand in 2015. Collectively, they move some-more than 50 years of knowledge in IT strategy, government and mutation for private and open zone organizations. Most recently, they served as arch information officer, arch devise officer, and arch record officer, respectively, for a state of Arizona. 

 

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