These days I'm working a lot of Digital Transformation.
What does it mean? What are the opportunities? What are the challenges?
As an IT guy, my conviction is that all is about the cloud (of course, and that's not new) and APIs.
APIs are the real game changer that allows all IT systems to be open for interfaces and collaboration by design.
Part of Amazon's success is a consequence of Bezos initial choice to go for 100% Apis back in 2002. He even wrote a memo about it :
- All teams will henceforth expose their data and functionality through service interfaces.
- Teams must communicate with each other through these interfaces.
- There will be no other form of interprocess communication allowed: no direct linking, no direct reads of another team’s data store, no shared-memory model, no back-doors whatsoever. The only communication allowed is via service interface calls over the network.
- It doesn’t matter what technology they use. HTTP, Corba, Pubsub, custom protocols — doesn’t matter.
- All service interfaces, without exception, must be designed from the ground up to be externalizable. That is to say, the team must plan and design to be able to expose the interface to developers in the outside world. No exceptions.
- Anyone who doesn’t do this will be fired.
- Thank you; have a nice day!
For example, having IT systems exposed throw APIs allowed Amazon to launch their cloud offer AWS for everybody even if it the software were developed for internal purpose (running their private datacenters supporting Amazon's retail business).
In order to convince people and explain what all this is about, I'm constantly using this presentation :