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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
|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.
Happy Friday, everyone.
This week started off great with a bout on Monday with a lot of people talking about AI and virtual reality (links picked at random). I’m not saying I started a trend, I am simply observing a certain zeitgeist. This is week, I’ve been looking at more familiar worlds: Java, Java EE, and app development. This is the heart of what we do in middleware.
Image credit: Headline Shirts. Also, the shirt is on sale now.
It’s time to stop perpetuating the myth that all Java Enterprise Edition (EE) application platforms are a bloated mess. Overweight, over-engineered, slow performing platforms that are a burden to simply deploy Java EE applications on. There. I said it. Now can I prove the myth is unfounded? Let’s see.
First let’s agree on what a Java EE application platform is. I propose a minimalist definition. That being, a Java EE application platform is verified to have implemented a specific Java EE specification. The current Java EE 7 specification is extensive and runs 290 pages long. Implementing the details is no trivial task. As of the date of this article, there are eight products that have been verified by Oracle to be Java EE 7 full platform compatible implementations. Red Hat JBoss EAP 7 is one of those products. However, Apache Tomcat and Pivotal tcServer are not on the list. Neither of those products are Java EE application platforms.
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.
Source: Gartner PPM & IT Governance Summit 2016 – Secrets of Prioritizing IT Demand – Audrey Apfel
Happy Friday, everyone.
As always, the “Internets” is a fascinating place (assuming a massive denial of service attack hasn’t cut you off from Twitter and Spotify) and there is a new trend in the things I was clicking. This is probably inspired by my recent obsession with Westworld, but I have been thinking in general about the essence of reality and how far technology can go to both conceal reality and create it. So this week’s theme is reality-bending technology: virtual reality, augmented reality, artificial intelligence, and the technologies behind it.
I had the pleasure of meeting my colleague, Steve Willmott, at the Red Hat booth at the Gartner ITXPO Symposium where we had a chance to have some insightful discussion about API Management — how it has evolved, where it is headed and its usage patterns etc. API Management is one of the techniques I called out during my session on the Relevance of Innovation at the Gartner symposium where I had made the point about the need to modernize integration techniques themselves over and above the modernization of infrastructure and applications. Just like I had made the point about “Integration is dead! Long live integration”.
“So, are you coming to APIStrat?” asked Wilmott.
Pictured: Steve Wilmott and E.G. Nadhan