7 Steps to Success in Overcoming API Challenges – with Bill from Nordic APIs and SK from Everbridge
Test and Monitor | Posted June 13, 2018

A few weeks ago Saoirse Hinksmon, our Digital Content Marketing Manager, and Denis Goodwin, our Director of Product Management spoke with Bill Doerrfeld, Editor in Chief of Nordic APIs and SK Bhachech Director of Service Quality and Security at Everbridge about API Monitoring – what it is, why it’s important, and what are companies doing today to stay ahead.

First we outlined how the API adoption rate as grown to where it is today, you can read about it here. Then we talked about some of the challenges there are and how you can adopt an API Monitoring Strategy to better position your company for success. We’ve summed up some highlights from our discussion:

The API Economy Is Still Facing Some Challenges

Even though APIs have evolved rapidly over the past few years, there are still some challenges that companies face when trying to adopt an API Strategy. From our research we found that software developers/testers, IT/Operations professionals, and business leaders are still grappling with:

  1. API Performance – for both providers and consumers
  2. Balancing speed of delivery and API Quality
  3. Facing losing users/customers as a result of quality issues

API performance continues to be a challenge for everyone trying to push APIs, new or old, into production and have them work as originally envisioned. One of the statistics that really speaks volumes is that “less than 10% of API issues are resolved within 24 hours.” From a monitoring perspective that’s a huge gap - 24 hours when something is down or functioning improperly is a very long time.

The second notable challenge is the ability to balance speed of delivery and API quality. With teams moving so quickly to push out new releases, there are often oversights in API quality. In fact, “nearly one in four API quality issues will remain unresolved for a week or more.”

Finally, organizations face losing users and customers as a result of quality issues. “One-third of API consumers (33.4%) will consider switching API providers permanently upon encountering an API quality issue; 31% will report the problem externally (i.e. peers, customers, partners).”

Companies Can Overcome These Challenges By Implementing a Monitoring Strategy

Implementing an API Monitoring strategy can help organization better manage their end-user experience and issue remediation. Adopting a process in which you are able to understand what outputs are being delivered, companies in turn can better understand the inputs and how to fix the problem.

We’ve outlined a few key steps to implement an API Monitoring Strategy:

  1. Identify major stakeholders – Define, target, and amplify feedback loops so when something goes wrong the right person is aware.
  2. Assess your current architecture – Understand what you don’t know and the best way to capture that information.
  3. Evaluate Your APIs – Determine both API endpoints and transactions and identify which ones are key in supporting business critical functionality.
  4. Map out your user journeys - Take an end-user approach to interacting with an API because these interactions will define how you monitor your APIs, you will understand how API calls function ‘in the wild.’
  5. Identify key assertions or variables – Make sure you can validate that every API is available, fast, and returns the right payload. Otherwise you’ll get useless information and put yourself at risk of having the “illusion of availability.”
  6. Select a tool that can fit seamlessly into your workflows - Look at integrations, time-to-value, ease of use, and prioritize what will empower your teams. The easier it fits into the workflow, the more likely your Organization, not just team, will leverage the capabilities, and it will save time & money.
  7. Integrate a monitoring mindset into your development lifecycleMonitoring earlier on or reusing assets from earlier in the SDLC will help:
    1. Save time & money
    2. Reduce MTTR
    3. Increase your ROI

To listen to an in-depth explanation of the seven steps to success, check out our full webinar recording here!