|By Roberto Medrano||
|January 21, 2014 09:19 AM EST||
When we made our 2013 predictions for the realm of APIs, our premise was that API adoption and use was still a relatively nascent area, but one about to explode once smart people figured out its potential. We were certainly spot-on in that regard, but few believed us when we suggested that the API Economy was about to get as vibrant as it did. It may be safe to say that 2013 was the year that APIs really caught the business world's attention.
In these past 12 months, we've seen major acquisitions of API enablement companies, new industry conferences dedicated to the business of APIs, and talk of API management is on the lips of leading business executives. Untold billions of dollars have been transacted, all enabled by APIs, and innovation is making the world an easier place to transact as a result of applications, mash-ups and APIs. As we predicted, the discussion and decision-making about how to use APIs to increase customer and user engagement through channels has moved to now include both the technical and business sides of an organization.
It's quite clear that APIs are getting the attention they deserve and that smart business people recognize that their companies and organizations had either take advantage of what APIs have to offer, or await the fate of rapid obsolescence. In 2014, we are going to see a huge leap forward in how APIs are put to use to drive innovation and help organizations be more efficient and profitable. In some cases this will happen on top of existing technologies and business practices. But the fun will happen because of the innovation that will come out of all that API development. One could say that the streets have been paved, and now it's time to start putting people on the road. We see these as the key trends for the coming year:
Cloud and Mobile = API Ownership: We see more IT and product development teams dedicated to API development to create and extend applications on top of, and through, cloud, SaaS and mobile. The reason is the realization that cloud is not just a platform, but an enabler. And when APIs work through the cloud, their ability to connect and deliver is made exponentially easier than having to do it through traditional platforms. Even with all the talk of the API Economy, many IT organizations neglected the capabilities of APIs. Call it the "Big Wake Up," perhaps, but there are dramatic efforts being made to ensure that organizations use the tools at their disposal to leverage cloud and mobile to create ecosystems of stakeholders.
Rapid Channel Development: Until now, APIs have been seen as a mechanism to get eyeballs and users. In 2014, APIs will be recognized for their ability to drive channels of partners, users, customers and all types of stakeholders. This will put them into an ecosystem of people and organizations that encourage more business connectivity and transactions. The term "API Economy" has seemed to many like a marketing brand, but when they put together the pieces to develop revenue-generating channels through strategic API management, they'll see that truly, an economy forms as a result of the simple work of this software tool.
Massive API adoption: In 2013, a lot of new faces were talking about APIs and how they would use them, but it still remained primarily the domain of the big brands (Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, etc.). But the business imperatives are clear and undeniable - businesses that want to grow and leverage the work of partners and others in their ecosystem will begin API development and adoption. We're starting to see it more and more in major industries like retail, transportation, telco and finance, and smart organizations recognize that the best way to increase reach and profit is by developing and executing an accessible API strategy.
The continued app explosion: Use of Web sites as a vehicle for content, commerce and data may not decrease anytime soon, but there is a massive rise in the use of apps to acquire information and perform transactions. Our customers are creating unique applications made up of vast networks of functionality from partners and other stakeholders. The thing that enables this interconnectivity among apps is APIs. We are going to see a much heavier emphasis on apps because of the competitive advantage they offer: data can be customized and optimized, depending on the user need. And APIs will be driving this.
SOA and APIs - together again (and always): SOA started the whole thing, and it continues to be a services foundation. But at the end of the day, all we're trying to do is connect data and services. Operationally there are not many differences between APIs and SOA, but in practice, we see APIs being adopted at a fast rate, mainly because of their flexibility, openness, and ease of integration. We are going to see more recognition that SOA and APIs are complementary, and that for one to be successful, the other needs to be used. Organizations with a strong SOA foundation will recognize the ease with which they can extend services through development of APIs.
Software-defined datacenters will rely on APIs: Big Data, cloud, virtualization; the buzzwords are, in fact, very real, but they also can only exist if there's organization to how they're accessed, used and managed. So in order to enable organizations to make use of the massive amounts of data available to them, they rely on software-driven controllers that manage the hardware that stores, integrates and transports all this data and makes it available. That alone is impressive. But where things will get interesting in 2014 is with smart organizations adopting an API-based platform for their datacenters so they can realize cost and resource efficiencies from their cloud initiatives, and gain greater control of their infrastructure resources. They will recognize a higher degree of security optimization and a more measured approach to risk management.
APIs drive mobile apps: We're seeing massive usage numbers for APIs (both by users and developers), and we're seeing much of that usage recently being focused on translation and integration of data for mobile devices. We suspect that there will an increased focus among developers to use APIs to bring apps to users' smart phones and tablets, and that this will rise to the top of the "to do" list of many CIOs. Users are demanding it more than ever, and APIs are enabling a much faster path to all that data. With the right levels of security and management, we are going to see enterprises dramatically increase connection points with customers and partners, as well as the financial upside that comes with that.
API security will take center stage: APIs are enabling a mind-boggling amount of data to be transmitted around the Web. Ensuring that all those transactions happen securely and can be managed effectively will result in a much deeper focus on API security. Consider too the implications of the recent NSA spying imbroglio and some well-publicized corporate security leaks that happened during 2013. The rub is no longer between whether or not to let others access your data through APIs - it's clear that progressive companies NEED to do that. The focus now will be on securing that data.
Internet of Things will become the API of Things: IoT is rapidly becoming THE buzz-term-du-jour, but it implies a vastly different way of conducting business, both personal and enterprise. It dramatically changes the customer experience, and that experience IS the company's brand. At the heart of the IoT concept is really just a bunch of APIs connecting with each other and benefitting from the idea of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts. For all those things to be connected, they need a common tool to open the door and allow data to be moved and acted on. But to benefit from IoT, APIs will need to be created, distributed and used intelligently and according to smart business strategies. In 2014, we'll see that companies who distribute their APIs widely, and use their APIs as a data channel (and not just as a tool for getting more eyeballs) will benefit most. In the coming year, the bandwagon will get very, very crowded, as consumer companies will try to leverage their internal and enterprise data into something usable and accessible. That bandwagon will also be filled with some incredibly interesting business opportunities.
Industry-specific APIs: We see that, as a way to leverage the work being done by others in a vertical, companies will look to use APIs to create massively connected apps and mash-ups. So rather than just a banking app, it's more powerful to create an app that combines the comprehensive needs of someone needing a loan: application, credit report, financing, delivery, all combined into a single app. Whereas some might have been leery of combining their capabilities with those of competitors, they are starting to recognize that serving the customer with the best experience is what is most beneficial to their business. Nothing can enable that as efficiently as an API, and the recognition of such is finally getting the attention it deserves.
Evolution of REST (and beyond): We have long been proponents of REST as a protocol for facilitating connections among data and services, but we're also aware of its limitations. We expect to see the emergence of new standards like WADL, Swagger, RAML and others, all due to their flexibility and that these will fill in holes left by REST and the deficiencies it has with defining service descriptions. We also will see REST being replaced by MQTT for specific use case in Mobile and IoT and with Web sockets for real time applications. In all these cases you will need to apply the SOA governance principles as you do today for SOA and APIs.
Too often with compelling new technologies market participants become overly enamored with that attractiveness of the technology and neglect underlying business drivers. This tendency, what some call the “newest shiny object syndrome” is understandable given that virtually all of us are heavily engaged in technology. But it is also mistaken. Without concrete business cases driving its deployment, IoT, like many other technologies before it, will fade into obscurity.
Nov. 27, 2015 04:00 AM EST Reads: 322
With all the incredible momentum behind the Internet of Things (IoT) industry, it is easy to forget that not a single CEO wakes up and wonders if “my IoT is broken.” What they wonder is if they are making the right decisions to do all they can to increase revenue, decrease costs, and improve customer experience – effectively the same challenges they have always had in growing their business. The exciting thing about the IoT industry is now these decisions can be better, faster, and smarter. Now ...
Nov. 27, 2015 04:00 AM EST Reads: 213
In his General Session at DevOps Summit, Asaf Yigal, Co-Founder & VP of Product at Logz.io, explored the value of Kibana 4 for log analysis and provided a hands-on tutorial on how to set up Kibana 4 and get the most out of Apache log files. He examined three use cases: IT operations, business intelligence, and security and compliance. Asaf Yigal is co-founder and VP of Product at log analytics software company Logz.io. In the past, he was co-founder of social-trading platform Currensee, which...
Nov. 27, 2015 04:00 AM EST Reads: 183
The Internet of Things is clearly many things: data collection and analytics, wearables, Smart Grids and Smart Cities, the Industrial Internet, and more. Cool platforms like Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Intel's Galileo and Edison, and a diverse world of sensors are making the IoT a great toy box for developers in all these areas. In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists discussed what things are the most important, which will have the most profound...
Nov. 27, 2015 02:30 AM EST Reads: 450
Discussions of cloud computing have evolved in recent years from a focus on specific types of cloud, to a world of hybrid cloud, and to a world dominated by the APIs that make today's multi-cloud environments and hybrid clouds possible. In this Power Panel at 17th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed the importance of customers being able to use the specific technologies they need, through environments and ecosystems that expose their APIs to make true ...
Nov. 27, 2015 02:00 AM EST Reads: 514
In today's enterprise, digital transformation represents organizational change even more so than technology change, as customer preferences and behavior drive end-to-end transformation across lines of business as well as IT. To capitalize on the ubiquitous disruption driving this transformation, companies must be able to innovate at an increasingly rapid pace. Traditional approaches for driving innovation are now woefully inadequate for keeping up with the breadth of disruption and change facin...
Nov. 27, 2015 01:30 AM EST Reads: 461
Microservices are a very exciting architectural approach that many organizations are looking to as a way to accelerate innovation. Microservices promise to allow teams to move away from monolithic "ball of mud" systems, but the reality is that, in the vast majority of organizations, different projects and technologies will continue to be developed at different speeds. How to handle the dependencies between these disparate systems with different iteration cycles? Consider the "canoncial problem"...
Nov. 27, 2015 01:00 AM EST Reads: 421
Growth hacking is common for startups to make unheard-of progress in building their business. Career Hacks can help Geek Girls and those who support them (yes, that's you too, Dad!) to excel in this typically male-dominated world. Get ready to learn the facts: Is there a bias against women in the tech / developer communities? Why are women 50% of the workforce, but hold only 24% of the STEM or IT positions? Some beginnings of what to do about it! In her Day 2 Keynote at 17th Cloud Expo, San...
Nov. 27, 2015 01:00 AM EST Reads: 555
Apps and devices shouldn't stop working when there's limited or no network connectivity. Learn how to bring data stored in a cloud database to the edge of the network (and back again) whenever an Internet connection is available. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Ben Perlmutter, a Sales Engineer with IBM Cloudant, demonstrated techniques for replicating cloud databases with devices in order to build offline-first mobile or Internet of Things (IoT) apps that can provide a better, faster user e...
Nov. 27, 2015 12:45 AM EST Reads: 393
I recently attended and was a speaker at the 4th International Internet of @ThingsExpo at the Santa Clara Convention Center. I also had the opportunity to attend this event last year and I wrote a blog from that show talking about how the “Enterprise Impact of IoT” was a key theme of last year’s show. I was curious to see if the same theme would still resonate 365 days later and what, if any, changes I would see in the content presented.
Nov. 26, 2015 10:00 PM EST Reads: 397
Cloud computing delivers on-demand resources that provide businesses with flexibility and cost-savings. The challenge in moving workloads to the cloud has been the cost and complexity of ensuring the initial and ongoing security and regulatory (PCI, HIPAA, FFIEC) compliance across private and public clouds. Manual security compliance is slow, prone to human error, and represents over 50% of the cost of managing cloud applications. Determining how to automate cloud security compliance is critical...
Nov. 26, 2015 04:00 PM EST Reads: 385
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 7-9, 2016 at Javits Center, New York City and Nov 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 18th International @CloudExpo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo New York Call for Papers is now open.
Nov. 26, 2015 03:30 PM EST Reads: 526
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York and Silicon Valley. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 17th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty ...
Nov. 26, 2015 03:15 PM EST Reads: 524
We are rapidly moving to a brave new world of interconnected smart homes, cars, offices and factories known as the Internet of Things (IoT). Sensors and monitoring devices will touch every part of our lives. Let's take a closer look at the Internet of Things. The Internet of Things is a worldwide network of objects and devices connected to the Internet. They are electronics, sensors, software and more. These objects connect to the Internet and can be controlled remotely via apps and programs. ...
Nov. 26, 2015 02:15 PM EST Reads: 500
SYS-CON Events announced today that Alert Logic, Inc., the leading provider of Security-as-a-Service solutions for the cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Alert Logic, Inc., provides Security-as-a-Service for on-premises, cloud, and hybrid infrastructures, delivering deep security insight and continuous protection for customers at a lower cost than traditional security solutions. Ful...
Nov. 26, 2015 01:00 PM EST Reads: 291
Today air travel is a minefield of delays, hassles and customer disappointment. Airlines struggle to revitalize the experience. GE and M2Mi will demonstrate practical examples of how IoT solutions are helping airlines bring back personalization, reduce trip time and improve reliability. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Dr. Sarah Cooper, M2Mi’s VP Business Development and Engineering, explored the IoT cloud-based platform technologies driving t...
Nov. 26, 2015 01:00 PM EST Reads: 392
We all know that data growth is exploding and storage budgets are shrinking. Instead of showing you charts on about how much data there is, in his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Scott Cleland, Senior Director of Product Marketing at HGST, showed how to capture all of your data in one place. After you have your data under control, you can then analyze it in one place, saving time and resources.
Nov. 26, 2015 12:00 PM EST Reads: 152
As organizations shift towards IT-as-a-service models, the need for managing & protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and now cloud environments grows with it. CommVault can ensure protection & E-Discovery of your data - whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud, or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enterprise.
Nov. 26, 2015 11:30 AM EST Reads: 121
The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing rapidly by extending current technologies, products and networks. By 2020, Cisco estimates there will be 50 billion connected devices. Gartner has forecast revenues of over $300 billion, just to IoT suppliers. Now is the time to figure out how you’ll make money – not just create innovative products. With hundreds of new products and companies jumping into the IoT fray every month, there’s no shortage of innovation. Despite this, McKinsey/VisionMobile data...
Nov. 26, 2015 11:00 AM EST Reads: 446
In recent years, at least 40% of companies using cloud applications have experienced data loss. One of the best prevention against cloud data loss is backing up your cloud data. In his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Sam McIntyre, Partner Enablement Specialist at eFolder, presented how organizations can use eFolder Cloudfinder to automate backups of cloud application data. He also demonstrated how easy it is to search and restore cloud application data using Cloudfinder.
Nov. 26, 2015 11:00 AM EST Reads: 126