We Want To Do APIs -- You Already Are, It Is Just Not In An Organized Way

I have a number of folks at companies, organizations, institutions, and government agencies come to me saying that they want to do APIs, and they need some help. In many of these discussions, the first task centers around addressing the motivations behind this declaration and helping folks realize they are already doing APIs, they are just not doing it in any sort of coherent and organized fashion.

Any business, organization, institution and government agency is moving machine readable data between internal, and with external systems in 2016, for use in a variety of applications. This is just done in a variety of often proprietary, ad-hoc, data dump, and other approaches that are often dictated without any coherent vision. API does not always mean 100% REST, it is about establishing interfaces between systems for programmatic usage across a variety of applications--the trick is to do all of this in a simplified, standardized, consistent, and low-cost way modeled on what has been working for the web. 

You are already doing API. You need to identify all the different ways you are already exporting, importing, migrating, syncing, and putting data to work across operations and begin to establish a coherent roadmap and approach to communicating about all of this. Then get to work identifying where the opportunities for standardizing how everything is defined, how access is needed, and a baseline for communication around these critical integrations on an ongoing basis. It's not about whether we should do APIs or not, you are already there, it is how do start doing it in a more organized and coherent way.