The Impact of COVID on APIs

A lot has changed in 2020. The entire world economy has been altered, likely permanently. It has been discovered that many technology workers can effectively work remotely. Not everyone can do this well. The in-office interaction between people is highly beneficial for productivity. But, it appears that those advantages are largely going to be discarded by a great many organizations.

Looking at the news from recent months, we find that companies are abandoning high-cost office locations, such as Silicon Valley, New York, Boston… Rates for office rents in those big cities are collapsing, because talented employees of companies based in those areas have little desire to come into the office in the age of COVID. For example, the Wall Street Journal published an article titled “The Silicon Valley EXODUS” on August 15. Why an exodus from the cornerstone location of advanced technology that fueled the surge that has happened in the past quarter century of high-tech? Why do so many people suddenly want to exit the former gold-mine location of high tech, the Silicon Valley? You had to be there if your company was going to be relevant.

But that was pre-COVID. Initially, say, back in March/April, venture capital for start-ups collapsed. No one knew what was going to happen. The Wall Street Journal article begins:

For years there’s been talk of a potential exodus from the San Francisco Bay Area, spurred by the exorbitant cost of living and long, slogging commutes. But before coronavirus, leaving the area meant walking away from some of the best-paying and most prestigious jobs in America.

There are signs the exodus is finally happening. Silicon Valley, America’s signature hub of innovation, may never be the same.

How is this related to APIs? With this major move to technology professionals working remotely, the age of the corporate intranet seems doomed. The corporate intranet assumes that the majority of employees are working together in a specific location, they all have logins and passwords to access the corporate intranet, and there is no real problem about access to the corporate intranet from outside the company’s office.

Employees working remotely entirely changes this formula from the point of view of security. Yes, you can have a VPN, but that’s an added level of complexity with respect to the security of your systems. With a VPN, your employees can get into your intranet, but that obviously entails risk.

The cloud is likely the real solution for companies in the COVID era. It’s not a corporate intranet, it’s accessible by anyone who has the permission to access it.

But how would you convert a corporate intranet into a cloud-based solution? The easiest answer I can think of is by transforming your former corporate intranet into a cloud based set of APIs. Excellent security is available in cloud providers like Amazon, Microsoft, and Oracle. So, what you would do is take the corporate intranet applications formerly accessed by on-site employees, and wrap them into an API that allows your remotely-working employees to access the same functionalities they previously accessed using your corporate intranet.

But if companies take this direction, then the importance of API monitoring is vastly increased. In that new world, your employees cannot even accomplish the tasks they need to accomplish on a daily basis if your API is not functional or if its performance is unreliable.

It is a new day, a new time in history for technology companies. The creation of new APIs is requisite for modern technology companies to survive in the COVID era. If there are many more new APIs being created, the need to accurately monitor API performance vastly increases. API Science provides the capability to accomplish this.

–Kevin Farnham