API Strategy Fundamentals: Obtaining Executive Sponsorship

Table of contents

Boardroom: API strategy

The term "digital strategy" has become something of a buzzword, but when it comes to defining your company's approach to APIs and its digital economy, it's paramount that you create a truly strategic plan that has the support of your organization's executive. Without a validated, well-articulated, and executive-backed plan, your organization will find it almost impossible to consistently and successfully hit its targets. Read on to discover how obtaining executive sponsorship is a critical element of any API strategy.

DreamFactory Hosted Trial Signup

Generate a full-featured,documented, and secure REST API in minutes.

Sign up for our free 14 day hosted trial to learn how.

Creating an Effective API Strategy

The right API strategy will enable your organization to plan for success, deploy the right technologies, and court the most relevant constituents who will partner with you to co-create a sustainable ecosystem. The success of this ecosystem will directly impact your company's long-term success, too, highlighting the importance of planning during this critical moment you find yourself in.

Executive sponsorship will play a major role in the success of your digital strategy and, from the executive sponsor's point of view, the planning is paramount to adoption. With the right resourcing, you'll be sending a strong signal to the entire organization that big changes are coming, and those changes have executive backing, so they need to be taken seriously. The tricky part is figuring out how to obtain executive sponsorship and the role it will actually play in your API strategy's creation and implementation over the coming months.

The Role of an Executive Sponsor

An executive sponsor is responsible for the following:

  • Championing digital transformation throughout your organization, ensuring company-wide support.
  • Securing approval from the board along with budget allocations. 
  • Facilitating the decision-making process to keep things rolling.
  • Inviting stakeholders into the discussion so they understand and support objectives.  

To find someone able to check all of these boxes, it's important to identify individuals from various departments who can help with the digital transformation plan.

How to Obtain Executive Sponsorship

The best executive sponsor will be someone who is respected and has internal influence and who understands the goals and outcomes the API strategy will have for your business. They should also be familiar with internal policies and consider themselves personally invested in the plan. Yet, obtaining executive sponsorship is not as simple as merely identifying an individual who fits the bill.

Keep in mind that the executive sponsor is also far from the only partner you will need to find to make your program a success. Partnering with proven platforms like DreamFactory can help you turn your API strategy into a reality. Explore the benefits.

Prepare Yourself

Before you can pursue executive sponsorship, you must ensure that you understand the organization's challenges and priorities. You should also be sure that you understand the priorities of executives, along with the charter and immediate priorities of the current year.  

When you can cross these things off your list, the next step in securing executive sponsorship is being certain that you are able to speak the language of your organization's decision-makers, empowering you to achieve mutual understanding of the common goals and problems.

Leverage Data

Gaining executive support is made simpler when you leverage data to support the plan and the need for their sponsorship. The best data to utilize includes:

  • Expert quotes from your industry.
  • Industry data from respected sources.
  • Examples from competitive brands.
  • Internal company data, if available.

Depending on the executives you'll be meeting with, you may rule out some or all of these data types. It's important that you only bring relevant data that you're sure they will accept, which requires you to know the people you're talking to. 

Drive Momentum

After finding an executive sponsor, the worst mistake an individual can make is relying on that sponsor to drive all momentum. In reality, your executive sponsor should not be the only one evaluating the success of your API strategy and making decisions. Promoting the plan will remain a shared responsibility, and it's a role you must continue to uphold.

As an internal promoter of your plan, you need to help explain and reinforce what you wish to achieve and why, tying the outcomes to company goals and ensuring that people throughout each department buy in to the plan. Digital transformation cannot be achieved in a single role, room, or department—it must happen throughout the entire company.

DreamFactory Hosted Trial Signup

Generate a full-featured,documented, and secure REST API in minutes.

Sign up for our free 14 day hosted trial to learn how.

Choose the Right Resources

Your API strategy's success depends largely on the resources, partnerships, and software that you identify to help back your plan. DreamFactory can help ensure your program's success, with a reliable support team, robust platform, and scalable plans that will adapt to fit the changing needs of your company.

Interested in learning more about DreamFactory and how it can help your company finalize its digital transformation process? Schedule a demo today!