Your API strategy, like all organizational strategies, should set a very clear and measureable set of success metrics that span across API strategy, implementation, and deployment.
You will dramatically increase your chances for a successful API strategy by measuring yourself on these Top 6 API Success Metrics.
1. Scalability: Will your API delivery infrastructure scale to meet your target audience? Will it support a growing base of developers and traffic as your adoption increases? Will it absorb usage spikes?
2. Security: Is your API and hosting infrastructure secure at both the API and the backend layers? What measures are in place to ensure that the API input and output data is secure? How do you authenticate and control access by the consumers of your API? Will your API prevent malicious access resulting in data breaches?
3. Reliability: How does your API infrastructure ensure your API is available 24/7/365? Do you prevent hardware or software failures from impacting consumption of your API? What mechanisms are in place to know if there were reliability issues?
4. Flexibility: How long does it take for you to quickly create a new API. How quickly can you enable new applications to consume your API?
5. Performance: How quickly does your API respond to calls? How does the response time affect the user experience of the consuming applications? How do you prevent performance levels from degrading over time?
6. Design: Is your API designed to be flexible yet stable? How easy is it to understand and integrate into applications? Is your API stable or changing frequently (i.e. requiring developers to reintegrate and rebuild their applications)? Is there API domain expertise that can be leveraged?
Answering the questions above will help you measure your success across these 6 Key API Success Metrics and ensure that your API’s meet the expectations of your target API audience. Conversely, not delivering across all of these metrics raises questions when API developers evaluate integrating your API into their applications.