APIs As The Default for Companies by 2015

APIs are quickly moving into the mainstream. In 2012, companies, organizations and government agencies all took notice of the need for deploying and consuming APIs. In 2013 there is still a lot of evangelism to be done, to make people aware of what an APIs is, and why their company should have one, but I think we are approaching the phase where APIs will be the default for any company.

If you frequent the tech conferences like I do, you've heard folks like John Musser say that in 1995 we were asking, "Do we need a website?", and by 2000 website was becoming the default. Fastforward to 2010, and we were asking, "Do we need an API?", and I believe by 2015 APIs will be default for companies, just like websites in 2000.

APIs are built on HTTP just like our websites. They are not just a new technology trend. Your website is a critical part of your company, telling the world about your company, and the products and services you provide. If you are a company without a website in this century, you probably are pretty irrelevant in your industry.

By 2015 if your company's products and services are not available in both HTML and JSON on the web, you will not be accessible via web and mobile applications, including voice enabled platforms such as Siri. Resulting in pretty much the same irrelevance as not having a website.

I'm not saying there isn't a lot of work to be done, in educated folks about what APIs are, and why they are important. But as I leave Washington DC this week, and I'm seeing our federal government solidly on track to institutionalize APIs and open data into their culture and operations. Government is known for always being several years behind the mainstream when it comes to technology. So if your company is behind the government on APIs, you are seriously behind and may not be able to catch up to your competition.