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API management 2014 forecast: Mainstreaming, privatization continues

It will be a tale of old versus new API management approaches in 2014, according to Delyn Simons, who leads Mashery's developer outreach team. Mainstreaming and privatization of application programming interfaces (APIs) will also make waves in the new year, she predicted at the Future Insights Ultimate Developer Event 2013 in Boston.

Looking ahead, Simons foresees that the SOA governance and the API management market will become more crowded as a lot of popular faces in gateway architecture, for example, move in.

"We are definitely seeing an intersection between a lot of old legacy ways of doing SOA governance and this new movement of API management," Simons said. "Gartner is throwing out terms like application service governance, which is really interesting in terms of marrying the two."

One of the biggest trends moving into the new year will be the continued mainstreaming of APIs, according to Simons. "APIs were really focused on technology companies and the Web 2.0 movement," she said. "What we are really seeing now in the last five to six years is this trend of mainstreaming APIs. That is because of the consumerization of IT, connected devices, the Internet of Things -- these movements."

For organizations to keep up with consumer demand, an API management strategy that ties back into the core business model will be key. "If you build in a services way, you are able to keep pace with the next gaming console, the next refrigerator, the next car, the next place you need to be," Simons said.

Many organizations turn to an API to reach users, so it may be surprising to learn that Simons said she is seeing a lot of businesses making their APIs private. "These [APIs] are only for people within your company," she said. "The benefits that you get if you do API management and have a great strategy going forward is that you get to really accelerate your own velocity product roadmap."

Another benefit to having a private or "dark API" is that as development teams evolve due to new hires or restructuring, Simons said, an organization doesn't have to waste time getting people caught on product development.

While predictions can vary from person to person and business to business, one thing seems to be universal: In order for a business to thrive down the road, it will have to have a stellar, future-minded API management strategy.

About the author:
Maxine Giza is the associate site editor for SearchSOA.com and can be reached at mgiza@techtarget.com.

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