Looking Forward at the API Economy: A Response to 451 Research

By Duane Tharp in API Industry Trends Posted Oct 16, 2015

Cloud Elements is thrilled to be included in the recent report published by 451 Research, The API451 Research Logo Economy: How Bits of Code Empower Business Relationships. Cloud Elements is listed as one of the ‘20 API Vendors to Watch.’ 451 Research lists these companies as “being focused on the emerging API management market at large, and that we believe have the potential to shape the market in coming years.”

Looking forward at the API EconomyProliferation of APIs

The report discusses in detail how the number of publicly available APIs is expanding exponentially. According to 451 Research, this has been brought on by:

  • The proliferation of SaaS offerings and the imperative to link them with on-premises applications
  • The expansion of mobile computing, social media and Internet of Things (IoT) devices
  • The anticipated migration of IT from on-premises data centers to private and hybrid clouds
  • The desire by organizations to syndicate their content and integrate e-commerce systems (websites) with affiliate partners

This is a concept that Cloud Elements CEO, Mark Geene is passionate about. Cloud Elements was first started on the premise that the proliferation of APIs would overwhelm developers. The fast growth in the number of APIs available to consume is leading to a proliferation of data and data silos. This passion led to the concept of “The Year of the Cooperative App”, which, in a nutshell, means there will be an increased demand for applications to instantly work with other apps in their ecosystem, shifting the burden for integration from the buyer’s IT department to the provider of the app.

“With a flood of APIs and an overwhelming burden on IT teams, we are about to see a massive shift to an Age of the Cooperative App,” said Mark Geene. “The integration responsibility must move from the IT department to the application developer/provider.”

Buyers are now choosing to purchase technologies that work together, rather than let the integration of the applications be an afterthought. LOBs are looking for cooperative apps -- apps that can instantly share data with other applications. A big part of the purchase decision now includes whether the app can share data and seamlessly communicate with other applications.

Convergence of IT Markets

Another key takeaway from the report is “several related IT markets are in the process of convergence”. This aligns with our view of the eminent convergence of API management and iPaaS.

The focus of an ESB (Enterprise Service Bus) or iPaaS (integration platform as a service) approach is connecting apps together, transforming data and orchestration. Whereas an API Management platform puts a focus on publishing and designing APIs, not connecting things together. We believe there should be a service in-between. That is what we are striving to build at Cloud Elements: A tool that bridges the traditional roles of API management and iPaaS.

We support 451 Research’s definition of APIs as “business enablers – economic engines, if you will – that fuel applications, devices and things with data.” We believe that technologies and businesses of all sizes are on track to be completely depended on APIs and will contribute to the continued growth of the API economy.

Download the report ‘Cloud Elements may be the missing link between iPaaS and API management’ from 451 Research analyst, Carl Lehmann, to learn more. 

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451 Research is a preeminent information technology research and advisory company. With a core focus on technology innovation and market disruption, we provide essential insight for leaders of the digital economy. More than 100 analysts and consultants deliver that insight via syndicated research, advisory services and live events to over 1,000 client organizations in North America, Europe and around the world. Founded in 2000 and headquartered in New York, 451 Research is a division of The 451 Group.Click to edit your new post...