|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.
The buzz continues for cloud, data analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT) and their collective impact across all industries. But a new conversation is emerging - how do companies use industry disruption and technology enablers to lead in markets undergoing change, uncertainty and ambiguity? Organizations of all sizes need to evolve and transform, often under massive pressure, as industry lines blur and merge and traditional business models are assaulted and turned upside down. In this new data-driven world, marketplaces reign supreme while interoperability, APIs and applications deliver un...
Oct. 8, 2015 05:30 PM EDT Reads: 221
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 shows "less than 10 percent of IoT developers are making enough to support a reasonably sized team....
Oct. 8, 2015 05:30 PM EDT Reads: 138
Mobile messaging has been a popular communication channel for more than 20 years. Finnish engineer Matti Makkonen invented the idea for SMS (Short Message Service) in 1984, making his vision a reality on December 3, 1992 by sending the first message ("Happy Christmas") from a PC to a cell phone. Since then, the technology has evolved immensely, from both a technology standpoint, and in our everyday uses for it. Originally used for person-to-person (P2P) communication, i.e., Sally sends a text message to Betty – mobile messaging now offers tremendous value to businesses for customer and empl...
Oct. 8, 2015 05:30 PM EDT Reads: 222
There are so many tools and techniques for data analytics that even for a data scientist the choices, possible systems, and even the types of data can be daunting. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Harrold, Global CTO for Big Data Solutions for EMC Corporation, will show how to perform a simple, but meaningful analysis of social sentiment data using freely available tools that take only minutes to download and install. Participants will get the download information, scripts, and complete end-to-end walkthrough of the analysis from start to finish. Participants will also be given the pract...
Oct. 8, 2015 05:15 PM EDT Reads: 239
Today’s connected world is moving from devices towards things, what this means is that by using increasingly low cost sensors embedded in devices we can create many new use cases. These span across use cases in cities, vehicles, home, offices, factories, retail environments, worksites, health, logistics, and health. These use cases rely on ubiquitous connectivity and generate massive amounts of data at scale. These technologies enable new business opportunities, ways to optimize and automate, along with new ways to engage with users.
Oct. 8, 2015 05:15 PM EDT Reads: 116
The IoT market is on track to hit $7.1 trillion in 2020. The reality is that only a handful of companies are ready for this massive demand. There are a lot of barriers, paint points, traps, and hidden roadblocks. How can we deal with these issues and challenges? The paradigm has changed. Old-style ad-hoc trial-and-error ways will certainly lead you to the dead end. What is mandatory is an overarching and adaptive approach to effectively handle the rapid changes and exponential growth.
Oct. 8, 2015 05:00 PM EDT
Can call centers hang up the phones for good? Intuitive Solutions did. WebRTC enabled this contact center provider to eliminate antiquated telephony and desktop phone infrastructure with a pure web-based solution, allowing them to expand beyond brick-and-mortar confines to a home-based agent model. It also ensured scalability and better service for customers, including MUY! Companies, one of the country's largest franchise restaurant companies with 232 Pizza Hut locations. This is one example of WebRTC adoption today, but the potential is limitless when powered by IoT.
Oct. 8, 2015 04:30 PM EDT Reads: 7,462
You have your devices and your data, but what about the rest of your Internet of Things story? Two popular classes of technologies that nicely handle the Big Data analytics for Internet of Things are Apache Hadoop and NoSQL. Hadoop is designed for parallelizing analytical work across many servers and is ideal for the massive data volumes you create with IoT devices. NoSQL databases such as Apache HBase are ideal for storing and retrieving IoT data as “time series data.”
Oct. 8, 2015 02:45 PM EDT Reads: 491
Clearly the way forward is to move to cloud be it bare metal, VMs or containers. One aspect of the current public clouds that is slowing this cloud migration is cloud lock-in. Every cloud vendor is trying to make it very difficult to move out once a customer has chosen their cloud. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Naveen Nimmu, CEO of Clouber, Inc., will advocate that making the inter-cloud migration as simple as changing airlines would help the entire industry to quickly adopt the cloud without worrying about any lock-in fears. In fact by having standard APIs for IaaS would help PaaS expl...
Oct. 8, 2015 02:30 PM EDT Reads: 642
SYS-CON Events announced today that ProfitBricks, the provider of painless cloud infrastructure, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. ProfitBricks is the IaaS provider that offers a painless cloud experience for all IT users, with no learning curve. ProfitBricks boasts flexible cloud servers and networking, an integrated Data Center Designer tool for visual control over the cloud and the best price/performance value available. ProfitBricks was named one of the coolest Clo...
Oct. 8, 2015 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 757
Organizations already struggle with the simple collection of data resulting from the proliferation of IoT, lacking the right infrastructure to manage it. They can't only rely on the cloud to collect and utilize this data because many applications still require dedicated infrastructure for security, redundancy, performance, etc. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Emil Sayegh, CEO of Codero Hosting, will discuss how in order to resolve the inherent issues, companies need to combine dedicated and cloud solutions through hybrid hosting – a sustainable solution for the data required to manage I...
Oct. 8, 2015 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 471
NHK, Japan Broadcasting, will feature the upcoming @ThingsExpo Silicon Valley in a special 'Internet of Things' and smart technology documentary that will be filmed on the expo floor between November 3 to 5, 2015, in Santa Clara. NHK is the sole public TV network in Japan equivalent to the BBC in the UK and the largest in Asia with many award-winning science and technology programs. Japanese TV is producing a documentary about IoT and Smart technology and will be covering @ThingsExpo Silicon Valley. The program, to be aired during the peak viewership season of the year, will have a major impac...
Oct. 8, 2015 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 254
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, Bradley Holt, Developer Advocate at IBM Cloud Data Services, will demonstrate 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 experience, both offline and online. The focus of this talk will be on IBM Cloudant, Apa...
Oct. 8, 2015 12:45 PM EDT Reads: 505
As a company adopts a DevOps approach to software development, what are key things that both the Dev and Ops side of the business must keep in mind to ensure effective continuous delivery? In his session at DevOps Summit, Mark Hydar, Head of DevOps, Ericsson TV Platforms, will share best practices and provide helpful tips for Ops teams to adopt an open line of communication with the development side of the house to ensure success between the two sides.
Oct. 8, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 573
WebRTC is about the data channel as much as about video and audio conferencing. However, basically all commercial WebRTC applications have been built with a focus on audio and video. The handling of “data” has been limited to text chat and file download – all other data sharing seems to end with screensharing. What is holding back a more intensive use of peer-to-peer data? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Dr Silvia Pfeiffer, WebRTC Applications Team Lead at National ICT Australia, will look at different existing uses of peer-to-peer data sharing and how it can become useful in a live session to...
Oct. 8, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 602
SYS-CON Events announced today that IBM Cloud Data Services has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 17th Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. IBM Cloud Data Services offers a portfolio of integrated, best-of-breed cloud data services for developers focused on mobile computing and analytics use cases.
Oct. 8, 2015 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 724
"Matrix is an ambitious open standard and implementation that's set up to break down the fragmentation problems that exist in IP messaging and VoIP communication," explained John Woolf, Technical Evangelist at Matrix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Oct. 8, 2015 07:00 AM EDT Reads: 5,865
WebRTC has had a real tough three or four years, and so have those working with it. Only a few short years ago, the development world were excited about WebRTC and proclaiming how awesome it was. You might have played with the technology a couple of years ago, only to find the extra infrastructure requirements were painful to implement and poorly documented. This probably left a bitter taste in your mouth, especially when things went wrong.
Oct. 8, 2015 06:00 AM EDT Reads: 756
The broad selection of hardware, the rapid evolution of operating systems and the time-to-market for mobile apps has been so rapid that new challenges for developers and engineers arise every day. Security, testing, hosting, and other metrics have to be considered through the process. In his session at Big Data Expo, Walter Maguire, Chief Field Technologist, HP Big Data Group, at Hewlett-Packard, will discuss the challenges faced by developers and a composite Big Data applications builder, focusing on how to help solve the problems that developers are continuously battling.
Oct. 8, 2015 04:00 AM EDT Reads: 485
Nowadays, a large number of sensors and devices are connected to the network. Leading-edge IoT technologies integrate various types of sensor data to create a new value for several business decision scenarios. The transparent cloud is a model of a new IoT emergence service platform. Many service providers store and access various types of sensor data in order to create and find out new business values by integrating such data.
Oct. 8, 2015 04:00 AM EDT Reads: 540