Jay Manciocchi | Sr. Marketing Communications Manager
July 31, 2014

API Management 2.0: Empowering the Enterprise for the Third Industrial Revolution

 

Join Gartner Research Vice President, Paolo Malinverno, and Intel® Services Head of Product, Chris Lippi, as they discuss the future of the digital economy and the evolution of API management August 5th at 1:00 PM ET / 10:00AM PT. Register here for the webinar, “The Next Era of API Management:  Enabling the Enterprise for the Digital Revolution.”

Everything ConnectsAs smart devices rapidly evolve into the Internet of Things (IoT), we find ourselves entering a new technological era—the Third Industrial Revolution. In this new era of digital business, enterprises face the challenge of becoming hyper-connected in order to thrive. Those that can achieve this connectedness through application program interfaces (APIs) will have a distinct competitive advantage; but, they must also be mindful of how to manage their APIs, if they’re going to keep pace with the perpetual innovation that has come to characterize this era.

Certainly, it’s no secret that APIs have changed dramatically since Mashery (now Intel® Services) invented API management in 2006. At that time, API Management 1.0 was largely about realizing the business value of APIs. Today, API Management, which is propelling both the IoT movement and the Revolution, is more about empowering the hyper-connected enterprise to drive and scale their businesses, as API models become more complex.

Big Data and APIs

Today, everyone with a tablet, computer, or smart phone is a media and data producer—yes, this is a tangible reality now, as millions of people create, curate, transform, store, and share data. The billions of devices that are part of the emerging Internet of Things will only generate more data—from our wearables to our smartphones and connected cars—making the possibilities seemingly endless. Indeed, the digitization and connectedness of our world is becoming more and more obvious in our everyday lives. Yet, this begs the question: how will we enable the enterprise to access, and take advantage of, this ever-increasing mass of big data?

APIs are the conduit for big data and further serve as the connective tissue for the Internet of Things. And, in order to be more visible, engaging, and scalable, smart companies are increasingly turning to APIs to drive business opportunities.

The next evolution of API management in the Third Industrial Revolution has five key elements:

  • Complete API Management: Solid APIs and their programs are managed to cover all aspects of the API lifecycle—from creation to consumption.
  • API Management Built for Scale: A thoughtful platform will take into consideration the various resources necessary, whether it’s through processes or personnel, in order to seamlessly grow an API program. 
  • API Management That is Simple: Well-managed APIs should make owning an API program a less confusing endeavor with the help of tools like the Intel® Services API Control Center, where no IT or coding is required. 
  • API Management That is Flexible and Secure: Well-managed API programs should work within an enterprise’s IT requirements for hardened security protocols to deflect attacks, and should further ensure that standards are followed to allow an enterprise to securely expose data and content to its partners.
  • API Management That Works for Developers:  Any successful API program must be able to socialize APIs to developer communities, whether those are just internal employees or the largest developer community in the API management industry.

This next evolution of API management is also about providing the ability for executive stakeholders to make fast decisions on very complex global ecosystems and information. This notion is at the very heart of Intel® Services' plans to deliver the next generation of computing—with software services and platforms that, quite literally, connect everything.

What's also interesting about APIs in this Third Industrial Revolution, is the fact that it empowers lateral innovation, too. When you deliver big data to people and let them innovate more (publish, store and compute information), it leads to the reimagination of everything and the creation of new disruptive technologies. 

How This Will Impact the Job Sector

Undoubtedly, the Third Industrial Revolution will have a profound impact on employment; namely:

  • Less non-skilled/qualified workers will be needed, as many or their jobs get replaced by robots and smart machines. The number of non-skilled/qualified jobs that are eliminated will likely overshadow the new, skilled technology roles that are created. We've seen this happen before in previous industrial revolutions with new rounds of technological advancements.
  • Conversely, the people who are able to program, invent, and innovate will have more jobs to do, as they reimagine everything in an array of industry verticals. Some of them will also have to supervise the robots and smart machines that come to perform the non-skilled/qualified tasks.
  • Finally, the so-called middle manager class—the professionals that generally control and give orders to subordinates—will also gradually see some of their roles evaporate as they become less necessary.

Conclusion

The Third Industrial Revolution—a digital one that is increasingly founded on next generation APIs and API management—is now in full swing. We now live in a world that is constantly being reimagined by humans, with the help of hardware and software that is becoming perpetually more intelligent. Ultimately, APIs have become the communication framework, or the very fabric, in which all of the products that we touch today talk to each other. At Intel® Services, we envision a near-term world in which everything connects. Those enterprises that recognize the utility of sound API management, and invest early in such technology and services, will be well-poised to succeed in their respective industries.