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Axway 2014 Predictions - Advancements in Cloud and Virtualization will Enable Organizations to Embrace the API Economy

VMblog 2014 Prediction Series

Virtualization and Cloud executives share their predictions for 2014.  Read them in this VMblog.com series exclusive.

Contributed article by Mark O’Neill, Axway’s VP of Innovation for API and Identity Management

2014 Prediction: Advancements in Cloud and Virtualization will Enable Organizations to Embrace the API Economy

The explosive growth of social media, cloud computing and mobile devices has fundamentally changed how people are interacting with organizations. Today, businesses can generate revenue, engage customers and collaborate with partners through entirely new digital channels, and the key to enabling these new channels is the Web Application Programming Interface (API). Web APIs are the underlying technology enabling businesses connect to mobile apps, cloud services and developers, and will continue their rapid growth in usage and influence in 2014.

While APIs represent a wealth of opportunities for organizations in the coming year, they also bring an additional layer of complexity to IT. With APIs opening up a distributed data network and enabling more collaboration to happen outside the enterprise firewall than ever before, IT is faced with a new world of data security, privacy and regulatory concerns. However, advancements in cloud computing and virtualization technology can go a long way in addressing these concerns.

In 2014, as we see more and more organizations embrace APIs, in order to ensure increased user engagement with their APIs while reducing the risks associated with them, these organizations will need a robust API management strategy. One way to achieve this is to take advantage of a cloud-based API management solution. For example, let's say a major retailer wishes to expose APIs for a variety of functions, such as order tracking, partner integration and customer engagement. To ensure availability, elastically scale their application infrastructure and support the growth in APIs, the retailer may very well decide to expose their APIs in the cloud. This not only supports the scalability required, but also removes the need to "punch a hole in the firewall" to expose internal systems directly. Another benefit of APIs in the cloud is that it removes the need for organizations to attempt to manage all of their disparate APIs on-premise - thereby removing costs and complexity. This is why we see cloud and APIs coming together.

Virtualization is now mainstream in the IT world, and this has been the case for years now. However, in 2014, virtual networking represents a significant area of growth within the IT landscape. It enables the creation of software-defined networks (SDNs), which in turn allow organizations to on-board new partners, for example, through an API - and does so without that organization needing to tailor its infrastructure or add additional gear. Also, once networking is virtualized, organizations can be more agile with their APIs, as they can be managed side-by-side with Web traffic. In fact, the SDN itself can be controlled using its own APIs. Again, APIs are the fundamental enabling technology.

Next year, APIs will continue to present significant new opportunities for organizations, including new revenue streams, partner collaboration and increased customer engagement. Central to the growth of APIs will be cloud computing and virtualization, which help simplify and streamline the development, deployment and management of APIs. In 2014, the cloud will enable advancements in APIs that will make it easier than ever for organizations to embrace the power of APIs, and new models of virtualization will provide organizations with the agility to fully realize the promise of the API economy for business growth.     

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About the Author 

Mark was founder and CTO at Vordel, a leader of REST and Web Services Security, acquired by Axway in 2012. Mark is the author of the book Web Services Security, contributing author of Hardening Network Security, both published by McGraw-Hill/Osborne Media. He provides guidance on REST and Web Services Security to Fortune 100 and Global 500 firms and is a frequent speaker at key industry events such as the RSA Security Conference and Oracle Open World. At Axway, Mark is Vice President, Innovation for API and Identity Management.
Published Tuesday, December 17, 2013 6:25 AM by David Marshall
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