Tag Archives: API Economy

The API Economy: New Research Report Findings

What is Happening?

The API Economy is the growing ecosystem connected by APIs which supports a growing number of IT trends – SaaS, Mobile, IoT, Microservices, DevOps, Containers, and Cloud. The combination of these trends is forming the backbone for the impending Digital Business transformation, and is critical for achieving the context-aware, real-time IT that companies need to compete.

A new Strategic Research Report from Saugatuck entitled The API Economy: Foundation for Digital Business (1588SSR) published this week examines each of the constituent trends in the API Economy and helps explain how they are all interconnected. While many of these interconnected technologies are still nascent, 20 percent of IT leaders already believe that several trends within the API Economy will cause critical changes in their IT infrastructure within the next 2 years.

Figure 1: Impact of the API Economy

1589RA_figure1

Source: Saugatuck Technology, Cloud Infrastructure Survey, April 2015, n=327 (global)

While the API Economy might still fall behind current virtualization and Cloud efforts, it is clear that IT leaders are already considering how these trends will cause their IT environments to change. Continue reading The API Economy: New Research Report Findings

MuleSoft Connect: Integration and the IoT

What is Happening?           

This week, Saugatuck attended MuleSoft Connect, the company’s annual customer event. Attendance was up from around 700 partner and customer attendees in 2014 to over 1,000 in this year. The growth of the event also heralds a growth of the integration industry – from MuleSoft’s initial forays into the iPaaS market, connected SaaS applications, to a broader platform, which helps enable the API Economy.

A key component of the API Economy – that has been center-stage at the event this year – is the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT). The IoT presents key architectural and integration challenges for companies that are trying to take advantage of new capabilities. Devices, services, and analytics systems all need to be carefully connected together to create a multi-part value chain. MuleSoft had several demonstrations of complex, multi-device integrations into single applications or workflows. While these were clearly demonstrations, the underlying capabilities are becoming increasingly critical for many businesses (see IoT Platforms).

MuleSoft used their platform in several demonstrations, including controlling small robots from web applications, to complex electronic music integrations that combined touch, image, and sound sensors with Phillips Hue lightbulbs and analog guitar input, to an on stage demonstration by CTO Uri Sarid that combined flight arrival APIs with hotel check in and Uber request APIs to demonstrate a real-life case of connected APIs and devices.

Why is it Happening?

IoT devices are proliferating at a rapid rate, and at the same time, the lines between devices, services, apps, and data are blurring. One important trend, which was highlighted1583RA Chart at the event, is that the devices themselves are becoming smarter. While connectivity is a given in devices in the IoT, it is increasingly clear that devices will become more than connected sensors, and become more autonomous and intelligent. While the bulk of devices available now do little processing on-board, instead focusing on using the cloud for data processing, the possibilities for more robust on-device analytics, processing, and communications are imminent. Continue reading MuleSoft Connect: Integration and the IoT

iPaaS, MDM, and API Management Solidify Dell Boomi Platform

Dell has just announced an expansion of its Boomi line which broadens its platform from its integration (iPaaS) and Master Data Management (MDM) center, out to include a complete API creation and management suite. The new suite enables both developers and savvy business users the ability to create, modify, publish, and monitor both SOAP and REST APIs.

While Dell is not the first to bring integration and API Management together, they are the first to bring MDM into the mix – and this combination is likely to prove very powerful, as shifts in IT overall are pushing more and more toward loosely-coupled data as well as services.  As we wrote in July 2014 in our Lens360 post, Master Data Management and the Internet of Things:

As the Internet of Things grows, and the complexity of systems dependent on sensor data continues to increase, we see major opportunity for IT to add new value through Master Data Management (MDM) programs. While recently the focus of MDM has often been in maintaining a single view of the customer across multiple cloud and on premises systems (such as CRM, order management, ecommerce, mobile, etc), we expect that the challenges in maintaining context around sensor data to be a primary driver of new MDM initiatives going forward.

It is clear now that the opportunity for MDM is beyond any one category of data, whether it be sales, HR, sensor, IoT, or Mobile, to name a few. With the combination of MDM and data integration, Boomi was already well positioned to help connect existing applications. By adding in API Management, they can now become an invaluable tool for application and service modernization. Developers will be able to create new services and APIs while managing data governance, even as these services become increasingly distributed. Continue reading iPaaS, MDM, and API Management Solidify Dell Boomi Platform

Agility, Microservices, and Digital Business

What is Happening?           

Microservices is a new emerging architecture that is designed to operate well in Cloud environments. Microservices is often contrasted with traditional monolithic architectures – where instead of single cohesive applications, individual services are developed separately and connected by using interfaces – often RESTful APIs.

Because these APIs effectively abstract the inner workings of each service, Microservices can be developed using a variety of languages and technologies that best suit the service’s performance characteristics and requirements. This abstraction also allows the service to be upgraded under continuous development and deployment practices without interrupting the service, as long as the interface does not change.

Microservices architectures tend to scale well horizontally. Unlike Monolithic architectures, as load increases on any one service, it is possible to scale that service independently of the others. This allows better usage of resources, and also caters well to the Cloud, where it is possible to purchase very granular amounts of infrastructure for highly elastic and responsive scaling.

There are downsides though – primarily in the form of increased developmental and operational complexity from maintaining individual services, interfaces, and scaling resources. Microservices necessitates high-levels of automation, both in rolling out updates and deploying new services, to auto-scaling, load balancing, clustering, and fault-tolerance. Additional considerations need to be made into how applications are able to handle degraded service, since when individual services fail (and they will) the entire application doesn’t necessarily fail.

Finally, the Microservices approach plays well with legacy applications. In many cases, this is where Saugatuck expects to see the greatest adoption of Microservices in the enterprise. Because the services communicate through interfaces and are not bounded by the use of existing technologies / languages / databases, they are well suited to be added on to existing systems when additional features, functions, or performance are needed. Examples might include simple analytics services for regressions, additional small webpage applets, or asynchronous notification processes. Continue reading Agility, Microservices, and Digital Business

Migrating to the Cloud using Microservices

Microservices is an emerging application architecture that focuses on enabling Cloud-based, distributed applications to be built more easily. A Microservices application breaks up a traditional application into its composite services, each accessible through its own RESTful API for real-time connectivity. This enables the individual services to be developed and delivered separately using a DevOps / Continuous delivery method, and further enables each service to use the technology stack that is most appropriate for that service’s needs; the only thing a service exposes to the outside is its interface.

Companies that have existing Monolithic applications and want to move them to the Cloud know that the Monolithic architectures that worked well on-premises don’t translate well to distributed systems at scale. Since a Microservices architecture is flexible, and can be developed on a per-service basis, it is possible to use either integration code, or an iPaaS solution to build and deploy individual services that can support or replace parts of the monolithic application. In this way, Monolithic applications can be gradually broken down and deployed in parts into the Cloud. Because Microservices allow a gradual migration of traditional applications to the Cloud, Saugatuck expects that they will become a common pattern used in the Hybrid Cloud, where parts of the application using Microservices migrate to the Cloud, and the Monolithic parts will remain on-premises.  Continue reading Migrating to the Cloud using Microservices

APIs in the Wild

The rapidly developing API Economy is made up of many parts that are infrequently examined. APIs provide access to software services on a network, and they have existed since the early days of computing. Now they are garnering new attention as Mobility and Cloud make them more important and more accessible. Releasing APIs has become an important marketing strategy for many companies, and their usage is encouraging integration of innumerable services through mashups on the Web. Yet we seldom look at specifics of what is being released. As APIs become more important, they signal directions that development is likely to take, and herald new opportunities from bringing together previously unavailable services. They also demonstrate the increasing importance of Mobility in driving software development. Continue reading APIs in the Wild

On The Road at SIIA Maximize – Three Key Megatrends

What is Happening?

Earlier this week, Saugatuck participated in the new SIIA Maximize conference in San Francisco, as both a speaker and panel moderator. Formerly called “All About the Cloud” – the new name change appropriately reflects the maturing of the Cloud market, as providers and buyers alike have clearly moved well beyond the early adopter phase. Given this, the SIIA has appropriately refocused the event for its members on how best to win in the evolving landscape that is emerging. This Research Alert provides a brief overview of the event, and highlights new research that Saugatuck shared at the conference.

Why is it Happening?

As noted, Saugatuck participated both as a panel moderator and as a featured speaker at SIIA Maximize. On Wednesday May 21st, Bill McNee, Saugatuck’s founder and CEO was joined by Carolee Gearhart, VP International Sales & Channels at Adaptive Insights, Richard Dym, CMO of Gagein, and Fritz Veltink, Managing Director of SaaS Energy in a high-energy breakout panel entitled “Unlimited Growth: Beyond Borders and Verticals.” The panel discussed a number of topics, but the core focus was around 1) when is the right time to expand, and 2) what are the key best practices in doing so. While the panel concluded that the decision to put the pedal to the metal was situational, a clear understanding of market opportunity and metrics, combined with maintaining laser-like focus are often keys to success.

On Thursday May 22nd, Saugatuck’s McNee delivered a morning featured presentation entitled “Beyond the Cloud Experiment: Three Key ISV Opportunities.” In keeping with the theme that the Cloud market is evolving, McNee shared some new research that clearly shows that buyers are now moving well into the early mainstream phase of adoption. As Figure 1 highlights, more than 60 percent of enterprises we surveyed will have at least half of their infrastructure and apps in a Cloud by 2018, up from less than 30 percent in 2014.

Figure 1: Cloud Adoption – Going Mainstream

Cloud Adoption Going Mainstream

This clearly reinforces our view that the “Cloud Experiment” is over now – and that a new “Master Architecture” (or architectures) has emerged (that includes Cloud, Mobile, Social, and Analytics). While migrating workloads is part of the story here, the bigger part continues to be the rapid growth

Continue reading On The Road at SIIA Maximize – Three Key Megatrends

Solving the Security Wormhole Challenge of the API economy

The API economy is doing quite well, but its expansion awaits a breakthrough security invention that will enable the use of APIs and the economy to unleash data currently behind corporate firewalls. As it exists today, the API economy is fixated on freemium business models where consumers find “freely” available information they can put to use in their daily lives. Whether the purpose of acquiring the data is to make travel reservations, purchase something, or simply search for something, the current complexion of the freemium API economy is just the start of business model reinventions that are yet to come, where entire industries will be remade and then made over again.

The big business blockbuster gains of the past 40 years might have been propelled forward by technology innovation, but all have been led by changes in business models. This will be the same in the API economy. Changes in business models will drive the need for technology innovation, which will drive further change in business models.

API Security

The current state of information security today is one where data is either free, or it’s not free. The data is commonly available on the Internet through a wide variety of APIs, or it’s behind many layers of security controls to prevent access to the data. This security wormhole, from data being free to it not being free, is going to be traversed as businesses seek competitive advantage over others in the API economy. Continue reading Solving the Security Wormhole Challenge of the API economy

Key Issues for Defining an API Strategy

What is Happening?

Saugatuck research among both enterprise IT buyers and IT providers indicates that application programming interfaces – APIs – are becoming increasingly relevant to the future of business IT, especially in today’s Cloud-enabled, loosely-coupled environments.

Enterprise IT buyers are looking to APIs as one of the next major trends in enterprise IT, though many are having difficulty with defining and formulating strategies around how best to use these new capabilities. IT providers recognize that both offering and enabling APIs increase the value of their solutions as APIs enable greater flexibility for how a product can be consumed, sold, or integrated. Providers have been active in the API management space over the last 18 months, with acquisitions like MuleSoft’s purchase of ProgrammableWeb, CA’s purchase of Layer7 Technologies, and Intel’s purchase of Mashery. The market for API management is becoming one of the next major areas of enterprise IT, and much less of a niche market. Continue reading Key Issues for Defining an API Strategy

The End of the Cloud Experiment – What’s Next for Business?

What is Happening?

The past ten years have seen a dramatic evolution of computing styles and architectures. More than five years ago, we began to see strong and accelerating demand for Cloud / SaaS business solutions, social tools and Cloud infrastructures. Over the past two to three years, the impact of mobility, advanced analytics and sensor technologies have emerged as key focal points for businesses of all sizes. Today, all of these technologies are now soundly proven to deliver solid business value, at the same time that they become rooted in our emerging core “master architecture.”

But now, what’s next? Where is business computing heading? This Research Alert explores three key and emergent research themes that Saugatuck will be focusing on (among others) in the coming months. Continue reading The End of the Cloud Experiment – What’s Next for Business?