According to Wikipedia, a policy is a deliberate system of guidelines to guide decisions and achieve rational outcomes. A policy is a statement of intent and is implemented as a procedure or protocol. Policies are generally adopted by a governance body within an organization. I like that definition. I think it reflects where we are with shaping API operations within enterprise organizations and the industries they operate in.
Policies in the world of APIs speak to what the humans need across the digital transformation that has occurred in our lives, but can be automated and scaled using rules. I am seeing policies being shaped out in the public API community using open source solutions, but then being brought into enterprise organizations and being used to shape the API operations behind the web, mobile, device, and other types of applications. Policies are what I will be focusing much more of my career on as API Evangelist, helping stabilize this API chaos I have helped create.