Over the last 20 years, enterprise adoption of APIs has skyrocketed. The average enterprise today uses up to 500 APIs across its ecosystem. This rate of adoption is fueled by rising customer expectations and the imperative for businesses to drive agility. In reality, most businesses struggle to deliver timelines as they operate in siloed technology platforms across hybrid/multi-cloud environments.
Due to this proliferation of cloud services, adoption of APIs, and the commoditization of API management services is a perfect storm for API-led businesses: API sprawl.
What is API sprawl?
API sprawl refers to the state of enterprise architecture where teams within an organization find it challenging to maintain, operate, and work with their APIs successfully.
This is because at every end of the enterprise, there are APIs performing different functions and use cases. Many of these APIs are built using diverse specifications and platforms, exposed to distinct audiences and are deployed across heterogeneous environments. As more APIs are created, it becomes difficult to visualize, manage, and control all the organization’s APIs.
The looming threat of API sprawl
Since business units operate independently, they often choose different technology platforms, clouds, API protocols, and architectures to meet their specific needs. As APIs sprawl across the technology estate and the business moves further toward heterogeneous operations, it is nearly impossible to create enterprise-wide services when these various systems and applications need to be connected. Although APIs exist in an enterprise, IT runs into challenges related to discovering, managing, and protecting all of the organization’s APIs from a single pane of glass.
With this, enterprises are struggling to:
- Discover, access, and use existing APIs across the enterprise.
- Maintain resilient operations while continuing to use disconnected management consoles.
- Protect against potential security vulnerabilities caused by unprotected APIs in diverse environments.
CIOs can’t afford to rip and replace their existing technology stacks to address these problems; instead, they need a solution that offers flexibility in development while maintaining centralized visibility and control across services.
The composable enterprise and its fast-moving, agile vision can only be delivered when universal capabilities are brought to existing technologies.
Universality: An imperative in your composable journey
Over the coming years, enterprises will seek to improve their agility by composing their processes into packaged business capabilities. CIOs need to empower their IT teams to harness the full value of their heterogeneous environments, disparate architectures, and multiple gateways to drive seamless customer experiences and business value.
To enable true composability each element in the technology estate must be discoverable, governable, manageable, and observable in a single control plane. Universality enables organizations to compose, connect, and control its ecosystem regardless of its technology, architecture, or environment. When applied to API management, universality advances the organization’s journey toward composability.
Universal API management provides a single control plane to enable comprehensive visibility, flexible management, and centralized governance at scale. It’s the next evolution of API management, opening the scope of full lifecycle management capabilities to APIs that are built and deployed anywhere.
Universal API management helps organizations:
- Accelerate application delivery by composing services using any API across the enterprise built by any team, on any platform.
- Implement any architecture by managing and securing any service at scale — from monolith to microservice.
- Operate in any environment with the ability to deploy and monitor services across any cloud or environment with a consistent experience.
To learn more about universal API management as a solution to heterogeneous technology stacks and API sprawl, download our CIO guide to universal API management.