Hybrid cloud

Is your enterprise ready for the API economy?

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Think for a moment about the way we do business today and how that’s changed in recent years. Instead of in-person meetings and phone calls, our interactions happen largely through messages, videos and posts using laptops, smart phones and other mobile devices.

The digital world has transformed the way we communicate and get work done, and it’s about to take another dramatic leap forward with the API economy. APIs, or application program interfaces, create a set of routines that allow applications to communicate and work with each other. They’re part of a new hybrid-cloud environment where systems on premises and in the public cloud can connect to unlock opportunities for leveraging data from different sources and engaging customers in new ways.

These APIs can open up new partnerships, market opportunities and revenue streams by making collaboration easier between applications and developers both inside and outside of an organization. A bank, for example, could connect its lending services to an automotive website to allow for automatic delivery of quotes and loans to new car buyers.

This week at InterConnect, IBM is unveiling new solutions enabled for the IBM z Systems mainframe to help drive the API economy:

• IBM’s new API Connect can provide a simple and comprehensive way to create, run, manage and secure APIs and microservices on and with IBM z Systems with Node.js and Java.
• New features in z/OS Connect Enterprise Edition can deliver a simple way to create and expose mainframe APIs leveraging REST with new API Connect Node.js connectors.
• IBM StrongLoop is integrated with IBM z Systems for a streamlined framework for developing, deploying and managing apps in Node.js.

These new solutions can provide a full lifecycle approach needed for successful API implementation –- create, run, manage and secure. Companies need a flexible environment for creating connections to data sources, developing the applications to move at the speed of business and enable multi-speed IT. They also need an efficient and secure way to manage APIs and make sure the right groups are getting access to the right parts of their systems, and only those parts.

These new solutions supporting APIs on z Systems are significant because they use a common, familiar language for application developers and allow companies to tap into data and applications on the platform. Z Systems is at the heart of major organizations worldwide, handling core enterprise applications.

Now, those applications can be connected easily to other applications inside and outside of the organization through APIs. The new API solutions can also take advantage of z Systems’ capabilities for speed, scale and security. IBM z Systems can help run applications faster and save time by serving data directly from the mainframe.

We’re already seeing clients use APIs with z Systems to generate new opportunities. A large European bank saw increased demand for their financial services. The bank’s leaders recognized that customers are becoming more savvy about connecting to the bank and required the API management solutions offered by IBM (including z/OS Connect Enterprise Edition) to expose and exploit existing applications and data more easily.

This is just the beginning for APIs and how they will change the way businesses operate. If you and your IT team haven’t thought about APIs, you should start looking at them. It’s not a matter of whether competitors in your field will be using APIs. It’s a matter of when that will happen, and whether you will be ahead of the crowd.

You can read more about how IBM is unlocking value for cloud developers in this announcement.

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