Establishing and running an API program is a step that many organizations have done or are planning to do. The observation often starts from initial experiences with APIs, the goal to better establish and support the API practice, and the idea that an API program can help with such an effort.
Ideally, an organization has an API strategy that clearly defines why API are relevant for the organization and what the goals are for using APIs (“Why are we even doing this?”). The API program is the operationalization of the strategy: It defines how the organization is going to move towards realizing the strategy and establishes the necessary structure to scale the API efforts in the organization.
APIs, of course, are not a goal in itself. Just having APIs changes nothing if the APIs are not used as the foundation to improve and speed up the way how the organization creates, manages, and changes value chains. Nothing just happens because you have APIs, so it is important to make sure that the API program goes beyond just creating APIs, and instead also includes the ultimate goal of making your organization better at changing and doing it frequently.