Welcome!

Related Topics: Microservices Expo, Java IoT, Microsoft Cloud, Containers Expo Blog, Machine Learning , @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).

Blake

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
When you focus on a journey from up-close, you look at your own technical and cultural history and how you changed it for the benefit of the customer. This was our starting point: too many integration issues, 13 SWP days and very long cycles. It was evident that in this fast-paced industry we could no longer afford this reality. We needed something that would take us beyond reducing the development lifecycles, CI and Agile methodologies. We made a fundamental difference, even changed our culture...
Things are changing so quickly in IoT that it would take a wizard to predict which ecosystem will gain the most traction. In order for IoT to reach its potential, smart devices must be able to work together. Today, there are a slew of interoperability standards being promoted by big names to make this happen: HomeKit, Brillo and Alljoyn. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Adam Justice, vice president and general manager of Grid Connect, will review what happens when smart devices don’t work togethe...
The 20th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal ...
@DevOpsSummit taking place June 6-8, 2017 at Javits Center, New York City, is co-located with the 20th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo New York Call for Papers is now open.
"There's a growing demand from users for things to be faster. When you think about all the transactions or interactions users will have with your product and everything that is between those transactions and interactions - what drives us at Catchpoint Systems is the idea to measure that and to analyze it," explained Leo Vasiliou, Director of Web Performance Engineering at Catchpoint Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York Ci...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Dataloop.IO, an innovator in cloud IT-monitoring whose products help organizations save time and money, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Dataloop.IO is an emerging software company on the cutting edge of major IT-infrastructure trends including cloud computing and microservices. The company, founded in the UK but now based in San Fran...
20th Cloud Expo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy.
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017 at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with the 20th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. @ThingsExpo New York Call for Papers is now open.
In the next five to ten years, millions, if not billions of things will become smarter. This smartness goes beyond connected things in our homes like the fridge, thermostat and fancy lighting, and into heavily regulated industries including aerospace, pharmaceutical/medical devices and energy. “Smartness” will embed itself within individual products that are part of our daily lives. We will engage with smart products - learning from them, informing them, and communicating with them. Smart produc...
Providing the needed data for application development and testing is a huge headache for most organizations. The problems are often the same across companies - speed, quality, cost, and control. Provisioning data can take days or weeks, every time a refresh is required. Using dummy data leads to quality problems. Creating physical copies of large data sets and sending them to distributed teams of developers eats up expensive storage and bandwidth resources. And, all of these copies proliferating...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Catchpoint, a leading digital experience intelligence company, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Catchpoint Systems is a leading Digital Performance Analytics company that provides unparalleled insight into your customer-critical services to help you consistently deliver an amazing customer experience. Designed for digital business, C...
“DevOps is really about the business. The business is under pressure today, competitively in the marketplace to respond to the expectations of the customer. The business is driving IT and the problem is that IT isn't responding fast enough," explained Mark Levy, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Serena Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Catchpoint Systems, Inc., a provider of innovative web and infrastructure monitoring solutions, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's DevOps Summit at 18th Cloud Expo New York, which will take place June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Catchpoint is a leading Digital Performance Analytics company that provides unparalleled insight into customer-critical services to help consistently deliver an amazing customer experience. Designed ...
More and more brands have jumped on the IoT bandwagon. We have an excess of wearables – activity trackers, smartwatches, smart glasses and sneakers, and more that track seemingly endless datapoints. However, most consumers have no idea what “IoT” means. Creating more wearables that track data shouldn't be the aim of brands; delivering meaningful, tangible relevance to their users should be. We're in a period in which the IoT pendulum is still swinging. Initially, it swung toward "smart for smart...
WebRTC sits at the intersection between VoIP and the Web. As such, it poses some interesting challenges for those developing services on top of it, but also for those who need to test and monitor these services. In his session at WebRTC Summit, Tsahi Levent-Levi, co-founder of testRTC, reviewed the various challenges posed by WebRTC when it comes to testing and monitoring and on ways to overcome them.