Riding the new API wave: insights from the Apigee Summit 2023 in Paris
Tech enthusiasts and industry leaders converged in Paris for the Apigee Summit on 24 October 2023. The event showcased the cutting-edge developments in the world of APIs, artificial intelligence (AI) and data integration. Among the attendees was INNOPAY’s Vince Jansen, our director Technology Innovation, and a seasoned professional keen on exploring the evolving landscape of technology. In his blog post, he shares his key takeaways from the summit, highlighting the pivotal role of AI in shaping the future of APIs.
The one-day Apigee Summit 2023 attracted a diverse international audience from France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Poland and beyond. The morning session was dedicated to Google’s vision and updates on the Google Cloud Platform (GCP) offerings, including Apigee, Duet.ai and Google Data Integration. As the day progressed, the focus shifted to real-world customer use cases, providing a comprehensive view of the current state of API integration.
4 key takeaways
In view of my keen interest in exploring the evolving landscape of technology on INNOPAY’s behalf, I had high expectations of this exciting event – and I wasn’t disappointed. I came away from the summit with the following key takeaways:
A decade on, APIs are here to stay
Different industries are at different stages of API adoption. Some (like Open Banking) are leading the way, others are in the process of catching up, and a few industries have yet to embark on the API journey. However, a decade since their initial introduction, open APIs have become a permanent feature in the tech landscape.
AI will drive API growth
AI is having a transformative impact on the API space and is set to be a game-changing innovation for two crucial reasons:
- First, AI will unlock new use cases, with smart agents & assistants. People will use this (new) user interface to have a conversation inside a large language model (LLM), and the AI agent will be able to do API calls directly from the conversation. This will increase the consumption of APIs, and also the need for organisations to run an Open API strategy that ensures their API is part of these agents.
- Second, we need to consider a new type of consumer: APIs for machines (new type of consumer).
The current approach to API development is unsustainable, relying heavily on human engineers and resulting in a fragmented ecosystem of isolated APIs. As the demand for integration across various technologies like IoT and AI increases, there's a pressing need for APIs to evolve to cater to a new type of consumer: AI systems autonomously interacting with APIs. This shift towards Autonomous APIs aims to streamline interactions and reduce human dependency, optimizing APIs for seamless AI integration.
AI makes API development accessible
AI is already taking over time-consuming tasks such as code generation for API services, documentation, API testing and maintaining consistent security policies. Moreover, the gap between the business and IT is narrowing, with low-code AI-supported tools enabling professionals to contribute to building innovative solutions without needing to be a software engineer. Therefore, AI can help to address the persistent shortage of developers.
Some important considerations when it comes to APIs are still relevant, including:
- API design matters: Presentation is just as crucial as the underlying quality of the product or service.
- Long-tail strategy: Companies need a strategic approach that drives their API programme in the long term.
- API security is of paramount importance: Companies absolutely must ensure that this is robust.
The summit also provided a glimpse into the future. Some of the intriguing predictions included:
- Fortune 1000 companies will eventually have more APIs than employees.
- A growing number of Fortune 1000 companies will appoint Chief API Officers.
- Selling APIs to machines will surpass selling to humans in terms of both quantity and value.
- A shift towards 99% self-service digital partnerships and integrations, highlighting the increasing importance of developer portals and the dominance of developers in the B2B space.
As technology continues to evolve, events like the Apigee Summit provide a valuable platform for professionals to glean insights into the future. The convergence of APIs and AI is creating a dynamic landscape in which adaptation and innovation are not just advisable, but also imperative. The future, it seems, belongs to those who ride the API wave with a keen eye on the transformative power of AI.