Thanks to all who participated in last week's Webinar: Visibility at the Edge - Deep Insights from your API. The video and slides are here.
As promised on the Webinar, we'll write out some of the Q&A we got into in the live session. We'll start with what we mean by visibility at the edge and why we think it's important.
Q: What do we mean by visibility at the edge?
in the past, enterprises could focus on controlling their interactions with customers through physical presence or websites. Now people are interacting more and more with core businesses through apps.
Although the interaction has moved farther away and businesses are no longer in control of the interaction in the same way, customers are more important to the business than ever before. More data is coming in from developers and end users through apps and APIs.
Q: Clearly, to get such visibility, we will collect lots of data.
Before we get into the data part, are there examples of the value such visibility might provide?
Think about the number of different constituents around API interactions (even non-API interactions). There are the people transacting with your business, developers building apps, teams in enterprises responsible for the building and the success of APIs, teams responsible for the operations of APIs, and business users interested in the top and bottom lines.
In addition to various constituents, there are lots of interactions through multiple channels with different systems, including billing, catalog, procurement, order management, and so on.
The biggest challenge is how to collect the disparate perspectives you get through these channels and generate a 360 degree sense of it. If you believe in the apps economy, you believe this will all get standardized around the APIs "interface."
Bottom line, your APIs and the management of APIs gives you visibility into a larger set of interactions than any one back-end system can.
If you harness that visibility, regardless whether you run operations for the back-end systems, your business is to make the APIs successful, or you are a business person focused on the top and bottom line, you can get a lot of insights into your business. For example:
- How well is the API being adopted?
- What is the response time per request?
- Does operations need to allocate more resources at peak times?
- What impact is an API having on my bottom line?
and much more . . .
But there's something even more transformative one can get from API data. Instead of thinking only about what the enterprise or the API team learns from API data, think about what developers and the app end users can learn from the API data.
For example, if you are a developer, you'd like to know what impact you're having on the business whose API you are using to build your app.
Visibility into the APIs gives insights for all of the constituents of the value chain, therefore getting us closer to a 360 degree and actionable view.
For more on the business implications, check out this recent post Engage customers where they are - at the edge of your enterprise.
Next time, we'll talk about what else is needed to make this 360 degree visibility a reality.