“Breaking Changes” Episode 3 Recap: BetterCloud’s Lorinda Brandon

In episode 3 of Breaking Changes—our weekly talk show where Postman Chief Evangelist Kin Lane hosts stellar guests from all across the API universe to discuss, debate, and solve the latest topics around APIs and API-first—BetterCloud VP of Engineering Lorinda Brandon shares her expertise. Learn about BetterCloud’s API journey and how it shifted the conversation around the discovery, management, and security of SaaS operations, which resulted in Gartner creating an entirely new category to track what they do—called SaaS Management Platform (SMP). This episode is titled “Creating a SaaS Management Platform.”

You can tune in and subscribe to the Breaking Changes podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, and Amazon music, or watch it on Youtube for more details.

Episode topics

  • How does BetterCloud manage so many APIs?
  • How does BetterCloud manage partner interoperability?
  • What has been the role of OpenAPI in BetterCloud’s journey?
  • How do you prioritize API security with increasing risks?

Episode highlights

Here are just some of the helpful insights Lorinda shares during the lively discussion:

How does BetterCloud manage so many APIs? 

  • BetterCloud automates IT functions that normally take hours or days for people to set up for their internal use. As part of managing APIs, Lorinda says, “The journey is not just looking at our own internal APIs and how do we create standards and some level of governance, or at least review of those APIs, but also how do we get more deeply tied to the provider APIs that we rely on as part of our business?”
  • In addition to figuring out how to standardize internal APIs to develop faster and better and communicate more clearly, it’s also important to ensure due diligence by staying on top of any changes or performance issues of third-party APIs that directly impact the business.

How does BetterCloud manage partner interoperability?

  • While talking about partnerships, Lorinda mentions that it is easier to work with large API providers because they have the staffing, energy, and the time “to understand what we’re trying to do and help us out.” Typically, a regular cadence of meetings is scheduled to discuss the use cases and better ways of implementation, and to provide insights into the metrics of how BetterCloud is using their system.
  • Lorinda talks about the vision of solving problems for small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) who want to be in the ecosystem but can’t spend as much time and resources. Kin draws a parallel with his Episode 1 conversation featuring Shutterstock’s Alex Reynolds; Shutterstock wants to allow smaller providers to just plug and play and do what they do best—and not worry about other things. Kin and Lorinda discuss the future in which an API system will give programmatic recommendations to optimize API usage.

What has been the role of OpenAPI in BetterCloud’s journey?

  • Lorinda shares how it’s easier to design everything once the foundation is laid, taxonomy is defined and standardized, and everyone talks the same language. She says, “We recognize that we need a way to design our APIs before we start coding them, and design them in such a way that is predictable, understandable, and relatable.” She continues, “OpenAPI gives us the foundation to standardize how we build and document and communicate our APIs.” She adds,” Standardizing on OpenAPI, the more we can all talk the same language and just be able to visualize each other’s APIs, it just jump-starts the whole conversation; it gets you so much further down the road.”

How do you prioritize API security with increasing risks?

  • The conversation steers into having an awareness, observability, and visibility into the analytics of how APIs are being used. Lorinda gives an example of how important it is for a financial institution to track, manage, and provide visibility into the way critical documents are being shared. She also touches upon security implications that come with a SaaS application. She says it’s important to “make sure you’ve got a secure credentialing system that doesn’t let people get in, or at least if they get in, you know about it quickly.”

Watch the full episode

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