|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.
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 Opening Keynote at 16th Cloud Expo, S...
Jul. 30, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,043
In his keynote at 16th Cloud Expo, Rodney Rogers, CEO of Virtustream, discussed the evolution of the company from inception to its recent acquisition by EMC – including personal insights, lessons learned (and some WTF moments) along the way. Learn how Virtustream’s unique approach of combining the economics and elasticity of the consumer cloud model with proper performance, application automation and security into a platform became a breakout success with enterprise customers and a natural fit f...
Jul. 30, 2015 09:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,146
"We have been in business for 21 years and have been building many enterprise solutions, all IT plumbing - server, storage, interconnects," stated Alex Gorbachev, President of Intelligent Systems Services, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 16th Cloud Expo, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
Jul. 30, 2015 08:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,030
With SaaS use rampant across organizations, how can IT departments track company data and maintain security? More and more departments are commissioning their own solutions and bypassing IT. A cloud environment is amorphous and powerful, allowing you to set up solutions for all of your user needs: document sharing and collaboration, mobile access, e-mail, even industry-specific applications. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Shawn Mills, President and a founder of Green House Data, discussed h...
Jul. 30, 2015 07:45 AM EDT Reads: 334
One of the hottest areas in cloud right now is DRaaS and related offerings. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Dale Levesque, Disaster Recovery Product Manager with Windstream's Cloud and Data Center Marketing team, will discuss the benefits of the cloud model, which far outweigh the traditional approach, and how enterprises need to ensure that their needs are properly being met.
Jul. 30, 2015 07:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,672
The essence of cloud computing is that all consumable IT resources are delivered as services. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Yung Chou, Technology Evangelist at Microsoft, demonstrated the concepts and implementations of two important cloud computing deliveries: Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS). He discussed from business and technical viewpoints what exactly they are, why we care, how they are different and in what ways, and the strategies for IT to tran...
Jul. 29, 2015 03:15 PM EDT Reads: 399
Discussions about cloud computing are evolving into discussions about enterprise IT in general. As enterprises increasingly migrate toward their own unique clouds, new issues such as the use of containers and microservices emerge to keep things interesting. In this Power Panel at 16th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed the state of cloud computing today, and what enterprise IT professionals need to know about how the latest topics and trends affect t...
Jul. 29, 2015 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,176
"Our biggest growth area has been the security services, the managed services - the things that differentiate us in the market that there is no client that's too small and there's no client that's too big," explained Paul Mazzucco, Chief Security Officer at TierPoint, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 16th Cloud Expo, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
Jul. 29, 2015 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 379
SYS-CON Events announced today that HPM Networks will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For 20 years, HPM Networks has been integrating technology solutions that solve complex business challenges. HPM Networks has designed solutions for both SMB and enterprise customers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
Jul. 29, 2015 01:45 PM EDT Reads: 431
"We do data integration for B2B also application to application, and we do data management and enable Big Data," explained Pat Adamiak, Vice President, Product Marketing at Liaison Technologies, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 16th Cloud Expo, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
Jul. 29, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 338
The Cloud industry has moved from being more than just being able to provide infrastructure and management services on the Cloud. Enter a new era of Cloud computing where monetization’s services through the Cloud are an essential piece of strategy to feed your organizations bottom-line, your revenue and Profitability. In their session at 16th Cloud Expo, Ermanno Bonifazi, CEO & Founder of Solgenia, and Ian Khan, Global Strategic Positioning & Brand Manager at Solgenia, discussed how to easily o...
Jul. 29, 2015 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 365
For IoT to grow as quickly as analyst firms’ project, a lot is going to fall on developers to quickly bring applications to market. But the lack of a standard development platform threatens to slow growth and make application development more time consuming and costly, much like we’ve seen in the mobile space. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mike Weiner, Product Manager of the Omega DevCloud with KORE Telematics Inc., discussed the evolving requirements for developers as IoT matures and conducte...
Jul. 29, 2015 07:30 AM EDT Reads: 284
"We've just seen a huge influx of new partners coming into our ecosystem, and partners building unique offerings on top of our API set," explained Seth Bostock, Chief Executive Officer at IndependenceIT, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 16th Cloud Expo, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
Jul. 28, 2015 08:00 PM EDT Reads: 627
[slides] From Industry to Society By @JMondanaro | @ThingsExpo @MetraTech @Ericsson #IoT #M2M #InternetOfThings
It is one thing to build single industrial IoT applications, but what will it take to build the Smart Cities and truly society-changing applications of the future? The technology won’t be the problem, it will be the number of parties that need to work together and be aligned in their motivation to succeed. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jason Mondanaro, Director, Product Management at Metanga, discussed how you can plan to cooperate, partner, and form lasting all-star teams to change the world...
Jul. 28, 2015 04:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,757
[slides] Workloads and Public Cloud at @CloudExpo By @utollwi | @ProfitBricksUSA #DevOps #Containers #Microservices
Public Cloud IaaS started its life in the developer and startup communities and has grown rapidly to a $20B+ industry, but it still pales in comparison to how much is spent worldwide on IT: $3.6 trillion. In fact, there are 8.6 million data centers worldwide, the reality is many small and medium sized business have server closets and colocation footprints filled with servers and storage gear. While on-premise environment virtualization may have peaked at 75%, the Public Cloud has lagged in adop...
Jul. 28, 2015 04:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,193
SYS-CON Events announced today that Agema Systems will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Agema Systems is the leading provider of critical white-box rack solutions to data centers through the major integrators and value added distribution channels.
Jul. 28, 2015 11:25 AM EDT Reads: 142
Converging digital disruptions is creating a major sea change - Cisco calls this the Internet of Everything (IoE). IoE is the network connection of People, Process, Data and Things, fueled by Cloud, Mobile, Social, Analytics and Security, and it represents a $19Trillion value-at-stake over the next 10 years. In her keynote at @ThingsExpo, Manjula Talreja, VP of Cisco Consulting Services, discussed IoE and the enormous opportunities it provides to public and private firms alike. She will share w...
Jul. 28, 2015 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,036
In the midst of the widespread popularity and adoption of cloud computing, it seems like everything is being offered “as a Service” these days: Infrastructure? Check. Platform? You bet. Software? Absolutely. Toaster? It’s only a matter of time. With service providers positioning vastly differing offerings under a generic “cloud” umbrella, it’s all too easy to get confused about what’s actually being offered. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Kevin Hazard, Director of Digital Content for SoftL...
Jul. 27, 2015 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,628
Business as usual for IT is evolving into a "Make or Buy" decision on a service-by-service conversation with input from the LOBs. How does your organization move forward with cloud? In his general session at 16th Cloud Expo, Paul Maravei, Regional Sales Manager, Hybrid Cloud and Managed Services at Cisco, discusses how Cisco and its partners offer a market-leading portfolio and ecosystem of cloud infrastructure and application services that allow you to uniquely and securely combine cloud busine...
Jul. 27, 2015 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,898
[slides] The Secure Path to Value in the Cloud By @Windstream | @CloudExpo #IoT #API #Containers #Microservices
Even as cloud and managed services grow increasingly central to business strategy and performance, challenges remain. The biggest sticking point for companies seeking to capitalize on the cloud is data security. Keeping data safe is an issue in any computing environment, and it has been a focus since the earliest days of the cloud revolution. Understandably so: a lot can go wrong when you allow valuable information to live outside the firewall. Recent revelations about government snooping, along...
Jul. 26, 2015 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,895