APIs are the glue which allow different parts of systems data and logic to connect and they’re changing the way businesses and IT departments work.
But whilst they make life easier for the user, they present new challenges for enterprises and developers who need to ensure security and management of APIs at the back end, while maintaining a dynamic consumer experience at the front end.
IBM estimates that the API Economy will become a $2.2 trillion market by 2018 and is launching new services and solutions to help its clients navigate it. These include an API Economy Journey Map, which uses consultants who are part of the company's new cognitive practice to help clients identify key opportunities and gauge their readiness on their journey in the API Economy.
For the first time, IBM has built machine-learning capabilities into its API Harmony technology to help developers use intelligent search technology to quickly and easily find APIs and choose the combinations that will be most effective for a given application.
IBM is also collaborating with the Linux Foundation and leading industry standards organisations to provide an open platform for building, managing, securing and integrating open APIs.
"The API Economy opens up new opportunities for innovation in both business model and technology strategy when enterprises participate with digital business services," says Marie Wieck, General Manager at IBM Middleware. "To succeed in the API Economy and reach new clients, enterprises need an open ecosystem for trusted exchange and a differentiating strategy for how they monetise those services. IBM is helping guide clients every step of the way into this API Economy as they start their journey to becoming cognitive businesses".
To help clients begin to make the most of the API Economy, IBM will offer workshops and digital transformation services to help clients quickly develop and adopt an API strategy. Starter workshops will allow developers to leave with a functioning API after spending just four days in one of IBM's Bluemix Garage venues.
To boost the development of industry standards around open API development, Big Blue is also announcing its participation in two key standards organisations to allow clients to quickly and easily integrate APIs into their digital services. It's working with the Banking Industry Architecture Network (BIAN) to create common IT standards for the banking industry, including the creation of common banking API definitions which will standardise application components and simplify and accelerate the creation of APIs.
It's also working with the HL7 standards organisation on the Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) API standard for exchanging healthcare information electronically, aiming to simplify implementation without sacrificing information integrity.
For more information on IBM and the API economy you can visit the company's website.