How API management can solve the enterprise architect’s dilemma

Modernizing IT architectures for the app economy doesn’t mean you have to send existing, legacy systems to the boneyard.

The application economy has been fueled by consumer demand for immediate response. It’s driven by an always-connected, mobile, application-based world where customers are far more likely to engage with a brand and interact with an enterprise through a software application rather than a live person. If you don’t believe that, ask yourself this: when was the last time you spoke to a customer service representative on the phone?

To meet the demand of consumers in the application economy, an enterprise architecture needs to be capable of supporting a diverse set of users tapping into the system – internal applications, legacy systems, external partners, customers, mobile devices, IoT devices, etc. The architecture also should be able to scale on an on-demand basis to support inbound and outbound traffic with volumes exceeding possibly millions of transactions.

In order to achieve that, the architecture must be modernized. Does that modernization mean you rip and replace all that you have built? Or is there a way to extend that existing architecture to seamlessly move into a digital enterprise? An enterprise architect is faced with such questions and the answer lies with new design architectures such as API management.

Modernizing today’s IT architectures for the application economy

Today’s existing architectures in medium to large enterprises are designed to handle integrations between various internal systems and applications. This is usually done with the help of an enterprise service bus (ESB) or a service-oriented architecture (SOA) model. However, the ESB / SOA models were designed a couple of decades ago and are meant for internal integration needs. They are not best suited to address the needs of a digital transformation and the proliferation of mobile devices and new business models that are externally-facing.

The existing, legacy integration models need to be upgraded and API management is the answer.

APIs bring harmony to integration

Why APIs? They empower enterprises to quickly repurpose IT systems, add value to existing offerings and open new revenue streams. Almost every single enterprise application, SaaS app or mobile app these days exposes and leverages APIs as a standard form of interfacing with each other. API management solutions aim to make it simple for even the most security-conscious organizations to open their information assets for use by partner organizations, third-party developers, mobile apps and cloud services, without impacting data security or the performance of backend systems.

Complementing legacy integration models with an API-enabled architecture that embraces mobile and Web applications, and the Internet of Things (IoT) helps meet the demands of today’s application economy.

With an API-enabled solution, you can:

  • Expose and manage select APIs externally to customers and partners
  • Adopt the right security models to secure your APIs
  • Govern APIs and manage change control for minimal impact on consumers
  • Bring the necessary scalability to match the speed of the Internet and explosive growth of mobile and Web applications
  • Improve IT agility in order to rapidly respond to changes requested by the business

 

Have you brought API management into your IT architecture? How’s it going?  If you’re still considering it, see below for a guide on API integration for ESB and SOA. The eBook titled “An Enterprise Architect’s Guide to API Integration for ESB and SOA” goes in detail about how API management can enable modern connectivity, offer sophisticated security control, boost developer productivity and prepare the enterprise architect to take on new business models with ease.


Dinesh Chandrasekhar is a Director of Product Marketing for Mobile and API Management at CA…

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