APIs Are The New Language of Collaboration

“Survival of the fit,” in Darwinian evolutionary theory, describes the mechanism of natural selection. The biological concept of fitness is defined as reproductive success. But could this also apply to modern business? Sustained growth might be the criterion for fitness in a business context. So why is sustained growth so difficult to achieve? Surprisingly, it is not for the lack of ideas but lack of ability to adapt to change and competition.

The fittest business can quickly innovate and adapt to competition and it can use its core competencies to extend itself in new ways. These organizations are often lean, mean, and learning machines using application programming interfaces (APIs). They are built on a foundation of cloud, mobile, big data analytics and social computing and they are generally connected to the internet of things, to extend and monetize the organization’s core assets for growth and  new value and revenue streams.

Even organizations born in different eras of digital transformation (mobile, internet-based, and client/server) that are successfully using APIs to achieve disruptive growth in their respective industries.

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Architecture, Process, Platform

Digital transformation is a hot topic in enterprises these days, and like any such topic it’s associated with a wide range of use, overuse, and misuse. But the phrase does get at something that we can all sense is really going on, a truly profound change. As different businesses undergo or undertake variants of digital transformation, we see a number of common characteristics of the more digital world:

  • More things happen (or are expected to happen) in real time
  • More different sources and kinds of data are brought together
  • Activities are more decentralized and ad hoc
  • There is a broadening of participation in both the building and the use of I.T.
  • There is a shift from analysis and planning to trial-and-error experimentation

Each of those ideas deserves elaboration–topics for future blogs–but going for the moment with whatever came to mind for those bullets as a rough characterization of digital transformation, let’s explore the interplay of architecture, process, and platform in helping enterprises compete and succeed in this emerging digital world.

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The Shared Economy for your IT

Don’t forget that Red Hat’s JBoss Middleware is part of the Shared Economy, too.

Whether it’s Uber, Airbnb, Waze, Snapchat, or Spotify, the new shared economy is the way of the future, or at least it seems so right now. In 2017, the Shared Economy is going to be a buzzword. What will happen to the Shared Economy under the U.S government’s new administration, what about taking Shared public in the Snapchat IPO, how is the Shared Economy going to deal with regulation issues? Regardless of the specific ponderings of the day, the Shared Economy is more often than not, at the front of most of them – just read the latest copy of Fortune Magazine. According to Investopedia, the definition of the Shared Economy is  “… an economic model in which individuals are able to borrow or rent assets owned by someone else. The sharing economy model is most likely to be used when the price of a particular asset is high.” Huh, that sounds a little like Red Hat’s Open Source approach to Middleware, doesn’t it? I know it’s a big claim to make, but Open Source was one the originals of the Shared Economy, and Red Hat belongs in conversations on the topic. Further, Open Source is needed now more than ever.

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Webinar Now: In-Memory Computing and Real-Time Analytics

In-memory data grids provide a distributed network (or “grid”) of nodes that work as an elastic data store. This is an approach to distributed computing which can work as a foundation for systems which require rapid scale, responsiveness, and high loads, like Internet of Things and mobile applications.

In-memory computing (like any distributed architecture) can be very complex, and understanding how to map the functionality of your existing infrastructure to a distributed computing infrastructure is critical.

So we have a webinar for that! “Real-time advantages of an in-memory data platform” with Cojan van Ballegooijen and Thomas Qvarnstrom (both JBoss technology evangelist at Red Hat) will be covering:

  • An introduction to in-memory computing
  • In-memory data grid use cases
  • How data access can affect business decision making, application responsiveness, and customer / revenue opportunities

Details

  • Tuesday, Dec. 6
  • 11a.m. Eastern time (US)
  • Presenters: Cojan van Ballegooijen and Thomas Qvarnstrom

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Let me tell you a beautiful story about APIStrat

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A conference about the strategy for APIs?  APIs need a strategy too?  Those are the intriguing thoughts on my mind as I walked into the 2016 API Strategy and Practice conference — APIStrat at the Marriott Long Wharf in Boston.  Gartner Fellow, Peter Sondergaard characterizes APIs as the synapses of IoT — a point reinforced by Gartner Analyst Mark O’Neil during his keynote at the conference.  There was a general ambiance of openness, inclusion and collaboration which can only be realized if the organizers, coordinators and attendees collectively share that mindset – a mindset that can only stimulate innovation that is relevant.  Even though I came in with an intent to exchange ideas on the technology of APIs, I came out with other supplementary but powerful thoughts that I share below.  APIs may be the synapses of IoT but conferences like APIStrat are those critical junction points experience based insight is shared through beautiful real-life stories by knowledgeable practitioners.

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Five Links: The More You Know Edition

Happy Friday, everyone.

There have been a couple of events lately that, at least tangentially, made me think about information and what we do with it. There have been a series of DDOS attacks on popular sites, at least one of which was driven by a blind army of smart devices. The other is the volatile and ultimately inaccurate polling leading into the US Presidential election. Both of these hint at the Wild West nature of technology — its flexibility and newness offers a lot of promise and a lot of unknown risks. So the theme for this week is — what is the quality of data and analytics and how do we do it “right.”

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Five Links: Embrace the Change Edition

Happy Friday, everyone.

As we come upon the glorious time change weekend, I’ve been seeing a lot of posts lately on changes — planning, designing, trying to understand what needs to change and how. Change is inevitable, but the question seems to be how far can we control it or define it. Within technology, we talk a lot about disruptive companies or key innovators, and sometimes it’s easy to begin looking at change for change’s sake. Disruptors and innovators don’t (only) change because it’s fun — they do something new with purpose. So this week’s posts look at change, design, and transformation as means to an end — chaotic yet intentional.

change

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Seamless developer portal authentication with 3scale and RHSSO

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About four months ago, Red Hat announced that it was acquiring 3scale. (Almost two years ago, Red Hat and 3scale announced a joint solution relationship for 3scale’s API Management Platform and Red Hat’s Middleware portfolio.) As the acquisition settles in, 3scale is already starting to integrate with middleware products, which will strengthen developers’ abilities to design and implement API initiatives and services.

This first point of integration is between the 3scale Management Platform and Red Hat Single Sign-On: more specifically, for the developer portal authentication.

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Portfolio Management Best Practices: Measuring Business Value

Enterprise goals, the portfolio, work, and investment decisions should all be based on measurable business outcomes. Business outcomes generate metrics, the way to measure value. The key is to standardize the way the enterprise measures business value.

Business Value Standards can help guide the right decisions for the portfolio, based on the work that can generate the most value. The standards list in the table provides six primary business value types with the associated examples and metrics.

Table 1

Business Value Type Associated Examples Associated Metrics
Generate New Revenue Net new sales, improve lead conversion rates or reduce sale cycle time, improve up-sell/cross-sell Increase revenue by X currency
Reduce Costs Reduce costs for licensing, managed services, maintenance support contracts costs, retire legacy platform, reduce workforce needs due to automation or reduced skills needed Reduce costs by X currency
Increase Productivity Automate or eliminate a process step or task, reduce cycle time or manual hours # of hours * estimated hourly cost * quantity
Improve Service Delivery Improve service delivery by reducing cost of performing a service Reduce cost per day, per hour, or per service
Mitigate Business Risk Implement new security systems or disaster recovery solutions Benchmarked industry risk analysis data with (ROM) risk scenarios

These example metrics help define how to measure the results from prioritization of items within the portfolio. The performance of the portfolio is based on the business value results that are realized by successfully executing on business objectives.

Portfolio Management: Balancing the Portfolio

One of the challenges of IT management is to balance the enterprise portfolio with initiatives that deliver on objectives and outcomes with varying timeframes and differing investment categories. Yet this balance is key to run, grow, and transform the business now and over time.

Balancing the enterprise portfolio is important to deliver on initiatives within short (within the fiscal year), medium (1 to 2 years) and long (over 2 years) timeframes. This is part of the advice for a lean startup.

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Source: Gartner PPM & IT Governance Summit 2016 – Secrets of Prioritizing IT Demand – Audrey Apfel

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