Last November, Gartner looked towards the future and predicted that in 2016, 6.4 billion connected things will be in use worldwide. Today is that future. Around us right now, billions of connected things are speaking to each other, passing data, and keeping our lives efficient and modern. From the things we wear (our smart watches, our fitness trackers), to the perks that make our lives easier (our navigation systems, our smart thermostats and lighting systems) to the places we shop (think pharmacy mobile photo printing, mobile coupons based upon buying preferences) the IoT is already heavily integrated into our lives. Think about all of these connections in our lives today—and now multiply those connections by four. Gartner reports that by 2020, the amount of connected things is expected to rise to 25 billion. What I&O leaders need to know is what is enabling all of these connections and how organizations and businesses are expected to keep up with the growth and manage these links.
While APIs have been around for more than a decade, today’s API-connected services are emerging as the preferred method for cloud, mobile devices, and virtually any end-point you can name. Most IT organizations are acting as both providers of APIs - creating APIs to provide internal system access, as well as API consumers - connecting their applications to externally provided APIs.