Did you know that last August a single rogue Android app took down the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency’s (NOAA) national digital forecast system?
That was over a year ago, and the need to manage APIs and open data by way of initiatives has only increased since.
According to Chris Borneman, Vice President of Business Solutions at Software AG Government Solutions, the importance of managing our APIs “has never been greater, and in our complex connected world, the ongoing security threat continues to grow. Failing to manage them [APIs] effectively can be hugely detrimental to our businesses and even our customers.”
This year’s Global Product Data Interoperability Summit (GPDIS) conference, held in Pheonix, AZ from September 28 – October 1, focused on data interoperability opportunities associated with factory automation in the aerospace industry, essentially trying to answer the question of “How will the potential for the ‘factory of the future’ be realized?” Utilizing the API crash at NOAA as a springboard, Borneman shared in his panel abstract that the “rise of APIs available from our manufacturing systems, in-house systems, partners, logistics providers, suppliers, and even our customers continues to grow at a rapid annual pace.”
Borneman’s presentation covered many of the benefits and challenges to integrating APIs into business processes. He also shared that some of the benefits to API management in a manufacturing environment include:
• Enabled predictive maintenance,
• Tighter automation,
• Tracking “as built” configurations,
• Improved supply chain visibility, and
• Tracking products in the field.
Ultimately, these benefits enable lower cost, improved quality and have the potential to add additional streams of revenue for manufacturers. Yet, these benefits are not without their accompanying challenges. APIs also bring with them diverse communication protocols, varying data formats and new security controls.
When President Obama mandated “open and machine readable the new (data) default for government” in May of 2013, he opened data but he also opened doors for millions of Americans to enjoy the benefits of open data and encouraged innovation. However, through our embrace of innovation and modernization, let us not forget the need for optimized API management as an efficient means to effective government IT.
To learn more about the Global Product Data Interoperability Summit and open data initiatives, click here to view archived slides of past summits.