Application Performance Management 

How API management helps CDOs bridge the digital transformation gap

Four key elements any API management platform must do to help digitally transform a business.

A CDO’s mission is to develop a digital vision that aligns with business goals and strategy, and drives change through digital initiatives and deliverables that improves a company’s competitive position.

To do this, there’s a fair amount of negotiating among teams to gain support for the digital transformation that will drive business success. As the CDO maneuvers the organization, setting vision and driving cultural change, digital execution will require more than collaboration.

It also will require the right technology to support the digital initiatives discussed in my last blog, “The rise of the chief digital officer.” The application programming interface (API) will provide the foundational platform to bridge enterprise data with the app.

APIs to broker relationships and bridge connections

Whether it’s mobile app development, omni-channel access or opening up data to new markets and internal stakeholders, each digital initiative will require connectivity. The API has become the technology to both broker relationships and bridge connectivity with the digital ecosystem.

But APIs don’t come without challenges. The ability to properly manage APIs securely will become a requirement for any organization and CDO in support of their digital initiatives.

Mohan Subramaniam, associate professor of strategy at Boston College’s Carroll School of Management states, “APIs provide the key to unlock new growth opportunities at an unprecedented scale in our digitally connected economy. The capability to manage APIs will soon become a primary driver of competitive advantage.”

Choosing the right API management and security solution

It should be clear that effective API management does not start with technology. The CDO must align its API program with the strategy of the business and chief marketing officer plans; design APIs with developers in mind; and work with IT to ensure they’re architected for sustainability.

Once ready to select an API Management solution here are some core capabilities necessary to support the CDO’s digital initiatives. Here’s what to look for in an API Management platform:

  • Integrate everything: New systems are born but old systems don’t die. Whether its legacy SOA, ESB or data repositories, the solution selected must be able to connect these architectures with modern mobile environments.
  • Enable and simplify development: Developers are the new customer of the digital enterprise. A simple discovery, on-boarding and testing process is a must to accelerate app development.
  • Secure the open enterprise: API breaches are becoming more and more commonplace. Once APIs are published there is some level of exposure to the business. Effective API threat protection and access control will deliver appropriate risk mitigation.
  • Monetize your APIs: As mobile app and IoT projects are kicked a tremendous amount of data will be collected. Customer insights will provide opportunity to release new services and monetize data never before imagined. The ability to price, measure and bill for usage must be accounted for when selecting an API management solution.


If done right, the CDO introducing an API-first approach to the organization should reap the agility benefits needed to support the digital initiatives that will align with CMO goals, while providing the proof needed to break cultural boundaries, broker IT and CMO relationships, and effectively bridge digital investments with the enterprise.

CA Director of API Management Product Marketing. Tyson Whitten is a CISSP with 15+ years…


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