Click here to close now.


Related Topics: Microservices Expo, Java IoT, Microsoft Cloud, Containers Expo Blog, IoT User Interface, @BigDataExpo

Microservices Expo: Blog Feed Post

API Management Is the Dog

This question of why spurred me to do some deeper thinking on APIs in the larger business context

Eric Knipp’s fantastic post (Don’t let API Management Wag the Dog) on cautioning clients on selecting a strategy prior to jumping in with an API Management vendor was excellent. It seems that many of the popular API management vendors are doing a great job of marketing, so much so that Gartner’s clients are asking about buying the technology set before thinking about why.

This question of why  spurred me to do some deeper thinking on APIs in the larger business context. It’s no mystery that Intel has a complete API Management product and service (we have the marketing leading on-prem and cloud API management offering by any measure), and as such, you can expect some self promotion of APIs coming from Intel and our partners, but I wanted to think a bit more clearly about the business view of APIs in general and that always starts with asking the fundamental question of why.

Why should I expose an API? Any new project costs money. What returns do I expect? Further, there are costs involved in an API program. Aside from technology choice there are a number of human factors, such as hiring the proper developer community managers and new support and service processes to manage and communicate with “finicky” developers. Moreover, if you are pursuing an on-prem program you will have to absorb some changes in internal processes.

Also, given the growth of the space and the realities of competition, it’s likely that my competitors might also have APIs as well. If I’ve lost time to market advantages, how can APIs really help me compete and prevent an API project from being an also-ran? Are APIs a universal good as they are touted by all us vendors?

Of course, there are some very good answers to these questions. In fact, you might hear some vendors tell you just why you need to expose an API. Here are some common answers you will hear. Many are convincing!  All are fallacious in some fatal way.

1. The world is moving from a direct to indirect business model, APIs enable that. (If you don’t jump in on API Management you’ll get left behind!)

2. APIs enable third party developers to innovate for you – you can outsource your innovation. (You outsource everything else, right?)

3. The world is changing too fast for you to plan a product, it’s just too complex, open an API instead, let the crowd innovate for you. (You don’t really know your own customers and world is just movin’ to fast)

4. APIs enable a new revenue channel – you can “charge by the drink.” (If you build it, they will come!)

5. Do you have a website? Of course you do. Do you have an API? Of course you do (Musser’s famous argument, one of my favorites)

6. First  businesses  moved from brick & mortar to web, and now they are moving from web to mobile.  Mobile requires APIs, therefore, you need an API management solution. (Can every business benefit equally from mobile?)

7. When your developer community builds potentially thousands of apps, you can reach consumers in ways you can’t even dream of. (Because you just aren’t that good of dreaming of ways to reach your customers)

So if it ‘ain’t’ these arguments, what would make an organization or Enterprise seriously consider API Management? When is it a truly strategic decision?

As a company goes to market, there are two elements of strategy it needs to consider. The first is a strong offense to attain a competitive market position and the second is the ability to defend the source of this advantage against rivals. If we cast the problem in terms of API management the important question is: Is an API program a source of competitive advantage or is it an isolating mechanism, or is it both, and how does it apply for your business specifically?  This is the important why question that you should be asking.

For an API program to be a source of competitive advantage it needs to allow the organization to increase value offered to customers and partners, resulting in higher customer willingness to pay or allow the organization to reduce costs so it can reduce price to offer more value. Reduced prices increase buyer’s surplus, or bang for their buck, increasing value offered.

For an API program to be an isolating mechanism, it must either help retain customers and prevent them from defecting to rival products and services or it must help prevent imitation. A strong ecosystem alone is a defensive, isolating mechanism.

In other words, if I have a community of developers developing against my APIs, they have invested in learning my method calls and how to parse my data, as well as how to merge my data into something useful, such as a mobile application. It’s not necessary that the mobile application transform my business or become a source of revenue generation. In the case of the isolating mechanism, you are raising the barrier to entry for competitors, not living out some marketing metaphor.

I think that once you can tie your API program to any these factors you can make a great argument for the business value of APIs. This is why in all of our discussions and interactions with customers we try and get to the bottom of the business side first, and then talk about technology, whether it is a 100% on-prem solution, a hybrid solution, or a 100% cloud solution (Again, Intel has all three models, plus others).


The post API Management is the Dog appeared first on Application Security.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Application Security

This blog references our expert posts on application and web services security.

Latest Stories
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...
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...
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.
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.
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...
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.
Just over a week ago I received a long and loud sustained applause for a presentation I delivered at this year’s Cloud Expo in Santa Clara. I was extremely pleased with the turnout and had some very good conversations with many of the attendees. Over the next few days I had many more meaningful conversations and was not only happy with the results but also learned a few new things. Here is everything I learned in those three days distilled into three short points.
DevOps is about increasing efficiency, but nothing is more inefficient than building the same application twice. However, this is a routine occurrence with enterprise applications that need both a rich desktop web interface and strong mobile support. With recent technological advances from Isomorphic Software and others, rich desktop and tuned mobile experiences can now be created with a single codebase – without compromising functionality, performance or usability. In his session at DevOps Su...
As organizations realize the scope of the Internet of Things, gaining key insights from Big Data, through the use of advanced analytics, becomes crucial. However, IoT also creates the need for petabyte scale storage of data from millions of devices. A new type of Storage is required which seamlessly integrates robust data analytics with massive scale. These storage systems will act as “smart systems” provide in-place analytics that speed discovery and enable businesses to quickly derive meaningf...
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
In his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Adobe Campaign, explored the key ingredients of cross-channel marketing in a digital world. Learn how the Adobe Marketing Cloud can help marketers embrace opportunities for personalized, relevant and real-time customer engagement across offline (direct mail, point of sale, call center) and digital (email, website, SMS, mobile apps, social networks, connected objects).
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 da...
The Internet of Everything is re-shaping technology trends–moving away from “request/response” architecture to an “always-on” Streaming Web where data is in constant motion and secure, reliable communication is an absolute necessity. As more and more THINGS go online, the challenges that developers will need to address will only increase exponentially. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Todd Greene, Founder & CEO of PubNub, exploreed the current state of IoT connectivity and review key trends and t...
Two weeks ago (November 3-5), I attended the Cloud Expo Silicon Valley as a speaker, where I presented on the security and privacy due diligence requirements for cloud solutions. Cloud security is a topical issue for every CIO, CISO, and technology buyer. Decision-makers are always looking for insights on how to mitigate the security risks of implementing and using cloud solutions. Based on the presentation topics covered at the conference, as well as the general discussions heard between sessi...
Culture is the most important ingredient of DevOps. The challenge for most organizations is defining and communicating a vision of beneficial DevOps culture for their organizations, and then facilitating the changes needed to achieve that. Often this comes down to an ability to provide true leadership. As a CIO, are your direct reports IT managers or are they IT leaders? The hard truth is that many IT managers have risen through the ranks based on their technical skills, not their leadership ab...