IoT Success: A Thank You to APIs

Let’s give credit where credit is due.

IoT is amazing. It is changing the way we work. Live. Play. And it will continue to do so for the course of my lifetime and beyond. Devices – things – are in the middle of a massive a growth spurt. You don’t have to take our word for it: a recent WIRED article titled “Without API Management the Internet of Things is Just a Big Thing,” The GSM Association’s Connected Life predicts that by 2020, there will be 24 billion connected devices, while Cisco’s current Internet of Everything prediction is 37 billion “intelligent things,” such as cars, appliances, smartphones, tablets, monitoring sensors and more, connected to the Internet.

But if we take a step back, there are so many elements that are vital to IoT success but are often overlooked and underappreciated. Today, let’s look behind the scenes.

APIs are the unsung heroes of IoT. They literally direct everything, from device management to security to task execution. In fact, IBM named IoT APIs one of its top IoT trends for this year.

APIs are interesting because no one ever notices if they work perfect. That’s the beauty of it! The API is designed to do all the work behind the scenes and make sure the “players” are in place so that finished product is perfect. If there is a hiccup with an API, everyone notices. Yet, they don’t get the credit when everything works correct. Think about how much work they have to do in order for your specific application, command, device, etc. to perform a task. A lot! APIs, we are here to say we appreciate you.

So where can you find IoT APIs? Take a look at this infographic from MuleSoft showing the top ten places and try to imagine where IoT APIs are not instead.

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Market predictions for APIs are promising: According to a recent article in RCR Wireless, analyst firm Technavio has predicted the global API-as-a-service market will reach $965 million by 2020, a compound annual growth rate of more than 30%. Impressive for a relatively new technology!

The RCR Wireless article goes on to quote Mahbubul Alam, CTO and CMO of Movimento Group, who said APIs are part of one common pain point he sees in the IoT ecosystem. So how can we alleviate API pain points? Open APIs that are truly open. Interoperable. Horizontal platforms that communicate with all sorts of devices and vertical applications. Platforms like Axiros’ AXPERIENCE for IoT.

In closing, we would be remiss to talk about APIs without also talking about protocols. Imagine that IoT is a movie: the director (API) gives an order and the star (IoT device) not having a clue what he’s supposed to do because there isn’t a standard way of performing the task? Protocols are the script. And if you have a well-written script, in theory you can substitute one actor for another if needed because there are rules and a script to follow. Much work is being done in the area of protocols and standardization – but it is too soon to tell what will become of this. We just know that it is coming.

As an API management company, Axiros has a unique perspective on APIs. By remaining protocol agnostic and device independent, Axiros’ solutions give our customers the ability to create virtually any API needed with confidence that devices will be interoperable and able to be fully managed, configured and updated using Axiros’ suite of IoT solutions.

Kurt Peterhans - Axiros GmbH
CEO & Managing Director Operations