Why API Management Caught Google’s Eye

Anytime one of the world’s largest and most innovative brands puts more than a half-billion dollars into an M&A deal, the market sits up and takes notice. But, when the deal involves one of the key players in the API Management space, well, it takes on an added significance.

It has been a little more than a month since Apigee announced its acquisition by Google for $625 million. What does the event mean to the broader industry – for us here at Forum Systems?

Without question, the deal is a strategic maneuver by Google to bolster its position in cloud computing against Amazon and others. Interestingly, just last week at its Symposium/ITxpo conference, Gartner issued its 10 strategic predictions for 2017 and beyond. Number six on the annual list reads: “By 2021, 20 percent of all activities an individual engages in will involve at least one of the top-seven digital giants.”

Guess who two of the “top-seven” are? Not surprisingly, Google and Amazon.

This gets us to the heart of what this deal is truly about, at least for Google. And that’s where API Management, and Apigee, comes in.

Google and other cloud providers are looking to provide everything via APIs. That’s because API Management gives them a control mechanism for accessibility into their apps and services, and also a window into user analytics, monitoring and metering.

The end goal, of course, is monetization. And we foresee API Management being subsumed by cloud providers as an integral feature of their offerings for this very reason.

While the majority of APIs are being developed and deployed in the cloud, however, most enterprise organizations still have legacy systems on premise. That’s for very good reasons. Not many Fortune 1000 organizations want to entrust the security of their corporate data to anyone other than their own IT department.

So how do these businesses take advantage of the API Economy?

For us, Google’s acquisition of Apigee is (further) evolutionary proof that enterprise organizations employing a hybrid cloud computing model need a secure API integration strategy. While API Management is becoming more of a function of the cloud providers, conversely, API Security Management technology is becoming a necessary architecture component of on-premise technology. Enterprises need to handle the API integration, security, and authentication of existing applications and services to cloud-based services and applications. Where API Management is merging into the Cloud Providers default capabilities, API Security Management technology is the new frontier of innovation allowing self-managed policies and data security to serve as the cornerstone of API enablement and risk-mitigated API strategy.