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APIs Unplugged is an API podcast series hosted by Matt McLarty and Mike Amundsen, where they dive deeply into business strategy, integration architecture, and predictions for the API economy. 

In each podcast, you’ll hear from Matt and Mike as they share their perspective on the latest technology trends and gain additional insights from their special guests. As we kick off Season 3 of APIs Unplugged, dive into our latest episode, Bold Predictions with Matt and Mike, to hear the latest and boldest API predictions they had for 2022. 

6 bold API predictions from 2022 

The API economy is continuing to evolve to meet new expectations, and as the year soon comes to a close, let’s take a look back at what Matt and Mike foresaw for the year with their top 6 biggest and boldest API predictions yet.

GraphQL will not replace REST

While GraphQL is not a wholesale replacement for REST, we see more GraphQL daily in some most creative use cases. From PayPal and Netflix to Shopify and GitHub, companies are leveraging GraphQL to either limit run time, use it on the backend, or leverage it as a development tool, and this type of pre-production use is only going to increase throughout the year. 

Graph QL isn’t going away by any means. As organizations find more flexible and creative uses, the role and influence of GraphQL will continue to change and evolve toward a more emergent design.

API retailers will take over the API economy

Although “flux capacitor” is a dated ‘80s cultural reference, this trend has grown exponentially over time as companies start tapping into the API intermediation space and adapting the idea of an API retailer. Companies are retailing APIs out the front and aggregating their wholesale APIs in the back, taking full advantage of APIs in the app economy. 

Companies like Twilio, Stripe, and Plaid are already leading the charge for retailing their services as they continue to accelerate time to market by developing coverage models that bring more value. By building similar coverage models and enabling other companies out the front door, companies can mix and match different APIs from their organization, plus key APIs in their sector.

API developers won’t be “developers” anymore

It’s no secret that we are in the low-code, no-code era, and it’s not going away anytime soon. As a result, the API developers doing the work won’t be “developers” anymore. Last year, it was all about RPA, and now we’re actively refocusing on the visual designer strategy and seeing more production in the low-code, no-code arena.

Although there’s a small group of developers who are still building, there’s still a mass of non-developers seeking an easier and more intuitive method of development. To do this, organizations must lower the barrier, expand access to APIs, and put them in the hands of the teams doing the work. Whether it’s HR, finance, sales, or marketing, the key is to get more people involved.

There will be at least one API security breach

This may be one of the boldest predictions of the episode, but there’s going to be at least one API security breach this year. That’s right, it’s inevitable. However, on the other side of the coin, this is the year everyone will wake up to the importance of API security. Many organizations produce APIs and under their platforms, they may still benefit from the security and security measures, but there’s still the issue of misunderstanding and underestimating APIs as the gateway into the organization.

Regarding APIs, it’s critical to rebuild, revisit and be prepared to detect, prevent, and remediate threats across the organization. This idea that you can’t manage what you can’t see is the same thing as you can’t secure what you can’t see. So taking time to create a real-time digital model of what’s going on in your systems and knowing what’s coming out of your spaces not only has operational benefits but security benefits as well.

There’s no API without AI

It’s plain and simple. Soon you won’t be able to spell, say, or think about APIs without artificial intelligence (AI). AI is constantly embedded into what we do, and thus, we’re starting to see an intersection between the world of APIs and AI. Some organizations are still learning to apply AI to their data and models, while others are setting up their models as an API like GPT-3.

However, with APIs at the front door of most machine-learning models, it’s important to factor in the risks of AI usage across the organization. Although there is a steady shift towards AI, this intersection is still new as a lot is going on in the AI space that we still need to explore.

CEOs will be API experts

To close this episode of bold API predictions, it’s safe to assume that CEOs will soon be a part of the API conversation. Lately, we’ve seen more senior leadership actively and enthusiastically driving the discussion around API strategy. It’s time CEOs were also in the room. As our entire world continues to shift towards digital, the role of APIs in business, customer and employee experiences, partnerships, and sales are exponential. It’s important that C-suite leaders not only understand how APIs can help drive their digital strategy but see the value of APIs across the organization. 

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APIs on the rise 

These undoubtedly were some bold predictions for 2022, and only time will tell the outcome. But one thing hasn’t changed, APIs are still on the rise and helping organizations take on digital transformation initiatives.

If you want to hear more about these predictions from Matt and Mike, check out APIs Unplugged Season 3, Episode 1 now on Soundcloud, Spotify, and Apple Podcasts.