Your API strategy is the key to digital transformation success. With an effective API strategy, you can deliver business value and gain a competitive advantage.

Consider this your ultimate guide to API strategy resources.

Read along or jump to the section that interests you most:

What Is An API Strategy

An API strategy is your blueprint for success in digital-first initiatives. An API strategy outlines what your API (application programming interface) is going to do, who you’re building it for, and how it will translate to meaningful success in the enterprise.

Any enterprise looking to succeed in digital transformation needs a sound API strategy. But what does it take to build one? Find out in our white paper: How to Create Tomorrow’s Winning API Strategy Today.

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How to Create Tomorrow's Winning API Strategy for Your Business Today

What Is an API-First Strategy?

An API-first strategy is one in which you create an API first — and then build your product on top of it. Your product may be a website or mobile application. By taking an API-first strategy, you put your target developer’s requirements first.

An API-first strategy is gaining momentum in many enterprises. Strategy is one of the API basics you need to be an expert on. Learn them all. 



Why Is an API Strategy Important?

An API strategy is important because building an API isn’t worth much until you’ve figured out your purpose.

Are you embarking on or expanding a digital transformation strategy? Are you leveraging mobile APIs to connect your applications? Are you deploying in a multicloud environment?

Those are all important questions to consider as you build your API strategy.

Key API strategy resources:

To be successful in your API strategy, you’ll need to get every stakeholder on board. What does it take to get alignment from your stakeholders? Find out in our white paper: API Essentials For Every Stakeholder.

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How to Build an API Strategy

To build an API strategy, you need to be able to answer these questions:

  • What's your market?
  • Who are your users?
  • What holes are you filling?
  • What business are you willing to let others do for you?

This is where you have to start in order to develop an effective API strategy. It's strategic. It frees you to focus on what you're best at and lets your ecosystem of partners and developers contribute their own strengths.

These developers, irrespective of where they come from, are people who identify your product as an opportunity. You provide the framework and foundation. They provide their insight and skills. From there, the world benefits from a better product.

To build an effective API strategy, consider the following.

Who is My Intended Audience?

Is there a specific platform they develop on? Should they have expertise in a particular vertical? What skill level should they have?

The answers to these questions will inform the essence of your developer community. Once you know who your audience is, you'll be equipped to find them where they hang out (other online developer communities, social media, etc.). And you’ll know the type of support material and documentation you need to provide as part of your API strategy.

What Do I Want My API to Do?

Is your company totally open and willing to let others get close to your product? Or do you prefer to give developers limited access and have them focus on smaller add-ons to your product?

This is an important consideration. In fact, it may be the most important consideration. It will define your "brand" to developers and explain to them the type of company you are.

What Direction Will I Give?

What kind of direction are you going to give developers? Should you enable the API to allow them to do whatever they want?

If so, then you should be prepared for the standard stuff: add-ons like search, content streams, and front-end customizations. Nothing wrong with any of that, but you may not see any major changes.

On the other hand, you could create a product roadmap and encourage them to fill holes and truly enhance your product or service. If you steer them in this way, then you want to be more specific about where we see opportunity, and how they can benefit from that opportunity.

Next Steps in Your API Strategy

Once you have the answers, you’ll need to consider the API you’re building. What are the requirements? How will you version it? How will you build an effective marketplace and drive adoption?

How to Build a Thriving API Marketplace

Watch the webinar below to learn how to go from enterprise developer portal to thriving API marketplace.

Additional API strategy resources:

How to Deliver Business Value With Your API Strategy

How will you use your strategy to deliver business value?

There are two key strategies for delivering business value with APIs.


First, there’s API monetization to consider. Monetization helps you drive API revenue. Of course, there are multiple models to choose from. And that can create some challenges.

So, what does it take to build an effective API monetization strategy?

Follow these steps:

  1. Assess the API revenue opportunity.
  2. Select an appropriate API monetization model.
  3. Scale full lifecycle API management.
  4. Optimize API monetization around a developer community.


The other strategy for delivering business value with APIs is to focus on strategies to build ROI as you start your API management project. This typically includes your API platform investment.

👉 Become an ROI Expert. Explore the API ROI Hub >>

There are many layers to API ROI, including the following key strategy resources:

What’s the Business Value of Your API Strategy?

Find out how much you can save by accelerating time-to-market with API management. Use our simple ROI calculator today.


Successful API Strategies: Examples

Now that you’ve explored what goes into an API strategy, what does it take to succeed? In the examples below, we share successful API strategies from industry leaders, including Akana API platform customers.

"Getting the strategy off the ground, Akana was the perfect partner." on Akana by Perforce via Gartner Peer Insights. Read the full review

In Insurance

How do you maximize the value of your investment in APIs with the right strategy?

Build your insurance API strategy expertise. Get the Akana ebook – Foundations For a Digital Ecosystem: Applying Open Banking to Open X Across Industries.

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Plus, find out how a health insurance provider increased payment volumes with their API strategy. With Akana as their API strategy partner, they:

  • Improved security and scalability.
  • Integrated with legacy IT environments.
  • Built and deployed systems rapidly.

Get the Full Story. Read the Case Study >>

In Healthcare

How do you embark on a digital transformation without sacrificing standards compliance? With the right API strategy.

Find out how a large Midwest healthcare provider complied with government mandates while driving digital transformation initiatives forward. With Akana as their API strategy partner, they gained:

  • End-to-end API lifecycle management.
  • Rationalization of applications and infrastructure.
  • Multitenancy in federated architecture.

Get the Full Story. Read the Case Study >>

In Banking

When it comes to business today, it’s disrupt or be disrupted. But how can you drive revenue and a competitive advantage with an API strategy?

Find out how a multinational banking corporation used APIs to create and optimize revenue channels. With Akana as their API strategy partner, they:

  • Ensured standards compliance.
  • Gained comprehensive security.
  • Built a flexible developer portal.

Get the Full Story. Read the Case Study >>

In an EDI Environment

Companies are in different phases of their EDI modernization journey. Many are starting to evaluate APIs, but don’t know how to get from Point A to Point B.

Understanding the baseline for your current EDI environment and developing a strategy for API usage are keys to modernization.

Watch the webinar below to learn how to successfully apply API strategy to EDI environments.

What Does an Effective API Strategy Look Like?

An effective API strategy includes full lifecycle API management, strong security, an impressive API portal, and insightful analytics. With an effective API strategy, you can drive innovation in the enterprise and gain a competitive advantage. And you don’t have to do it alone.

Akana can help you build an effective API strategy. Request your API business strategy assessment today. Our experts will work with you to enhance your API strategy and ensure success for years to come.

API Strategy Assessment

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See for yourself why Akana is the API platform to build your API strategy. Watch the on-demand demo today.

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