Your company is ready for API adoption and you are asked to prepare an API Management RFP. Here are a few tips that will help you be well prepared before contacting the different API Management vendors.
Tip #1: Don’t take a tactical view instead of a strategic one.
- Only considering the project at hand and not what you might need to do in the next one will limit your effectiveness and unnecessarily constrain you to a smaller solution that will not serve longer term needs.
- This implies you need something more ‘complete’
Tip #2: Don’t launch an API Management RFP if you don’t have a single decision maker who owns the budget.
- Identify a clear power sponsor with the budget before launching an RFP process.
- You will avoid very long and tiring efforts due to several organizations pushing for conflicting requests.
Tip #3: Don’t use IT funds to purchase instead of business sponsoring.
- IT has minimal discretionary spending (80% just to keep the lights on) and so there will be a tendency to try to constrain the solution to something of less cost and less functionality.
- Better to focus on how you can achieve business goals to get business sponsorship to buy the right product.
Tip #4: Don’t settle for only improvements in infrastructure.
- Greater value will result if along with infrastructure modernization you also address a business goal like improving customer service or streamlining partner enablement.
- If necessary, limit the scope to address a more narrow problem but it should rather be deep, creating a steel thread that starts with infrastructure modernization and ends in clearly visible business value.
Tip #5: Don’t neglect Governance & Organization aspects.
- API Management is an organizational as much as a technical platform.
- Focus on change management:
- Best practices
- Govern your platform
Tip #6: Don’t approach API Management solely from a technical perspective.
- API Management is much more than just API Gateway & API Security.
- Do a “meet-in-the-middle” approach:
Tip #7: Don’t forget the API delivery platform, from design-time to deployment on runtime.
- API Management is not just runtime.
- How do you plan to set up a Continuous Integration and Delivery platform?
Tip #8: Don’t limit your scope to private APIs.
- Open APIs have to be a long-term target.
- Prepare your infrastructure, platform & governance for an Open API target.
Tip #9: Don’t adhere to previous governance limitations
- Think agile and don’t get lost into complex internal processes.
- Think how your future API Management solution can help you reduce time to market.
Tip #10: Don’t try to do everything at once.
- Adopt an MVP Approach.
- Which are the most important APIs to start with?
- Set up a pilot team.
- Show the value step by step to get adoption from the pilot team.