November 6, 2017 | Written by: Chris Schmitt
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(This post is part of a series. Read part one, part two and part three to learn more about the urgent need for Hybrid Integration.)
Remember the part of Ghostbusters when they realized something big was going to happen? They had been seeing an increasing amount of paranormal activity across the city, and they knew that disaster was coming.
Egon: I’m worried, Ray. It’s getting crowded in there and all my data points to something big on the horizon.
Winston: What do you mean, big?
Egon: Well, let’s say this Twinkie represents the normal amount of psychokinetic energy in the New York area. Based on this morning’s sample, it would be a Twinkie thirty-five feet long, weighing approximately six hundred pounds.
That’s one big Twinkie. APIs are at a similar breaking point. They have been hyped and promised, and they’ve been growing dramatically for the past several years. Analysts have been projecting that they will continue to grow exponentially while drastically changing every industry. And now, we are at the cusp of something big. APIs have become the thirty-five-foot-long, 600 pound Twinkie.
The question is, are you ready for it? While the promise of APIs has always been out there, people haven’t always looked at the down sides. Do you have the right security in place? How do you properly expose your data? How do you manage API creation, operation and discontinuation? If you are exposing your critical business data through APIs, you could be exposing yourself to a disaster of biblical proportions. Loss of critical data, privacy breaches and unauthorized re-use all impact your brand and reputation in the market — not to mention their threat to what might be a competitive advantage. These disasters are the IT equivalent of forty years of darkness: earthquakes, volcanoes, the dead rising from thier graves, human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together — mass hysteria.
The best way to handle this is to implement true lifecycle management of your APIs. In short, treat them like a product. Seems pretty basic, right? Listen, smell that? IDC’s 2017 CloudView Survey found that only 40 percent of enterprises have life-cycle capabilities associated with their APIs. If you are one of the 38 percent who doesn’t manage the life-cycle but has plans to, then IDC recommends you look at an API management solution to govern the process. As IDC puts it, “Beyond ensuring API security and reliability, the teams providing APIs need software that will:
- Help them document the APIs
- Manage a catalog of discoverable APIs
- Provide versions of APIs and version controls
- Monitor performance
- Measure usage”
Just like the Ghostbusters, you need the tools and you need the talent.
If you’re looking to get the most out of your API, who you gonna call? Actually, just download the IDC Report, The Urgent Need for Hybrid Integration or go to the IBM Integration website to learn more about IBM’s view on hybrid cloud integration.
And remember, if someone asks you if you’re an API god, you say “Yes.”