API Management to Become a Managed Service
As the so-called API economy continues to evolve and expand, many organizations are soon going to find themselves challenged when it comes to managing hundreds, if not thousands, of application programming interfaces.
Right now, most of the support for those APIs comes from vendors, such as Dell, which provides access to API management tools via the Dell Boomi cloud service.
But it's only a matter of time before the management of those APIs is more commonly handled by Dell partners, rather than Dell itself, said Chris McNabb, general manager for Dell Boomi. The issue that Dell and other providers of API management services face is that thousands of developers and IT organizations are all asking the same core set of questions relating to how their APIs are being affected by any number of external issues.
Because the majority of those APIs are externally facing to one degree or another, developers are often anxious because service-level agreements (SLAs) have been attached to those APIs, McNabb said. Instead of Dell handling all those inquiries itself, McNabb foresees a day when managed service providers that have partnered with Dell will field most of those inquiries.
In general, APIs are transforming not only how companies interact with their partners and customers, but also how IT solutions themselves are built, delivered and managed. This transformation is occurring much faster than most IT organizations can keep pace with, much less actually manage and secure. For that reason, Dell has been actively recruiting partners such as CloudDoor to join the Dell Boomi Partner Network.
Right now, API management is for the most part a task that developers take on as part of the API deployment process. But as APIs continue to proliferate across the enterprise, IT operations teams are increasingly being asked to take on this task. After all, every minute that developers spend managing APIs is one less minute they can spend writing actual code.
In the meantime, MSPs would do well to consider where the points of integration are shifting toward—inside and out of the traditional enterprise. It's not every day that a new multimillion dollar category that requires extensive IT management expertise lands on their proverbial doorstep.
Michael Vizard has been covering IT issues in the enterprise for more than 25 years as an editor and columnist for publications such as InfoWorld, eWEEK, Baseline, CRN, ComputerWorld and Digital Review.