Platform Engineering

Saul Caganoff

APIdays Returns to Melbourne

Posted by Saul Caganoff on 03 July 2019

APIs, containers, kubernetes, Fast-Data, Open Banking, APIdays, open data, cloud computing, ethics

APIdays returns to Melbourne on September 19 and 20. This is our seventh event in Australia/New Zealand on top of 40+ APIdays events globally. As we plan for this year and our call for speakers it is worth looking back at the last 12 months in an API connected world.

Open Banking and Open Data

Financial services continue to be a focus with the Consumer Data Right initially being applied to that domain. A pilot program starts on July 1st and with legislation still pending, open banking is expected to arrive in Australia in early 2020. Australian banks and FinTechs are getting their skates on to comply with the legislation (at the least) or to capitalise on the new ecosystem opportunities (for those so inclined).

The lessons from the UK and Europe are that open banking will take longer than expected but progress is accelerated by a collaborative API design process led by an independent standards authority. In the UK, open banking has been a reality for more than 12 months and there is general agreement that open banking is good for banks and customers overall. The effects are reflected in growing investment in FinTechs and growing adoption of FinTech services by customers.

Financial services is just one part of the API story, other industries are increasingly more connected. In the public sector, more government services are being provided through digital one-stop shops such as Service Victoria which yield better customer experience and simplify or abstract away the network of agencies that run behind the user interface.

Cloud Adoption & IT Modernisation

On the engineering side behind the APIs, organisations are reinventing the way they build and run technology. IT modernisation has become a constant reality and critical to delivering innovative and reliable digital experiences. Cloud computing is mainstream, ubiquitous and increasingly competitive.

We’re also seeing a change in the way that organisations use the cloud. More often they prefer PaaS services rather than cloud analogues of their traditional data centres. Higher levels of abstraction provide for faster, more efficient and cost-effective technology delivery. Serverless and containers are growing in adoption. Kubernetes has become the de facto standard in PaaS computing both on-premise and in the cloud.

With Kubernetes as the orchestration platform, microservices architectures now look to other concerns such as security, reliability and observability. Service meshes provide fine-grained control and visibility---a new form of API management in-depth.

Data, AI and Ethics

More open APIs, more digital engagement, more data. This is fuelling the adoption of machine learning and other AI technologies. We’re now in a post-big-data world where “big” is normal and the race is on to rapidly gain insights---to sense and to respond in the moment. Big data begets fast data and we are seeing more API-enabled “AI” services emerge to support the fast data imperative.

But with data comes responsibility. Privacy and ethics are top of mind for consumers. Companies realise that just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should. We’re seeing initiatives such as the IEEE’s Ethically Aligned Design which identifies eight principles for the design, development and implementation of autonomous and intelligent systems. One of these principles is “data agency” - the ability for individuals to access and securely share their data - a principle which brings us right back to the Consumer Data Right where we started this review.

If you have a perspective or a story to share on any of these themes, register now to speak at APIdays Melbourne in September.

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