APIs & DevOPs are part of the Hybrid Cloud Answer

TxMQ’s Hybrid Cloud Practice

Most companies today have a huge investment in legacy systems and applications. Some may be mainframe based, containing collections of old Cobol code that continue to run the business. Other situations find companies with ERP or MRP systems that have been customized and retooled so much, they barely resemble the original out-of-the-box application that was originally purchased. Whatever the case, chances are high your legacy systems requires support and ongoing management by a team of developers and admins – likely many of whom are beginning to plan their retirements. Do you have a plan in place to handle this not-so-far-off future?
Cloud is all the buzz today, but you are stuck in the past with systems and technology that just can’t be ‘lifted and shifted’ to the cloud. It’s either that, or you are hamstrung by regulatory requirements that simply preclude much of your data from a cloud migration.

APIs are a part of the Hybrid Cloud answer (or at least will get you started down the right path)

An API strategy allows you to leverage your back end assets by exposing them for consumption to trusted partners, or even end consumers. All while ensuring the security and reliability of your legacy systems.
This approach is one we call ‘Hybrid Cloud’. It is the first step in a cloud strategy that doesn’t have to involve anything more than rethinking how legacy workloads are used and accessed. At the same time, this strategy allows a rethinking of new workload deployments, and new ways of working.


A DevOps approach allows for a continuous, rapid, iterative application development cycle, while ensure equally continuous testing of new applications and code and while automating code deployment. IBM’s Urban Code Deploy is an important part of a Dev Ops strategy for customers with extensive legacy workloads and compliance concerns.
Today’s developers want to work in a more rapid and nimble way. ‘Failing fast’ is the new mantra, and maps well to line of business (LOB) owners pushing for quicker time to market for their applications. Historically, this way of working wouldn’t play well with legacy shops. Yet with the introduction of a Hybrid Cloud approach, companies can rethink new workloads and new application requests, including non-production environments, to leverage DevOps. Furthermore, companies can begin to look at Platform as a Service (PaaS) options allowing for more rapid environment spin ups, and more stable and rapid application testing.
Also, this Hybrid Cloud approach allows for the rapid integration of cloud based solutions like Workday, Salesforce, Netsuite, and other web based technologies companies continue to adopt.
TxMQ helps companies evaluate their legacy infrastructure to identify quick wins leadership can use to begin a roadmapping and ‘future planning’ strategy. Get in touch today to learn how we can help you create a future that leverages next generation options for aging infrastructure and applications.
Next time, we’ll discuss the next step on this journey…converged or hyper converged infrastructure.

API Management Enables Dynamic Systems of Engagement

When I first heard the term API Management, my mind went back to the mid 1990’s when I was neck deep in object-oriented programming.   Ugh, I remembered combing through reams of documentation about application programming interfaces, object structures and the like. It wasn’t necessarily the fun part of developing applications. Back then, the context was connecting core application systems together, exchanging transactional and master data between applications such as CRM, ERP, and Supply Chain.

Nowadays many of the underlying technical details remain relevant, but the context has changed from API’s as a systems development concern to API management as a business model consideration and key topic in the board room. With innovation and speed to market as primary concerns among executive ranks, key enablers such as API Management solutions are getting due attention to help unlock the creative potential of next-gen application developers, both internally and externally, and to even develop new revenue streams.

From an external perspective, API management solutions can provide a welcoming experience for customers, business partners, and communities. Hackathons have exemplified the notion of turning loose a group of talented individuals to bring a fresh perspective on how core IT assets can be turned into something new and useful in ways that perhaps would have never been conceived internally. These new systems of engagement need to plug into core IT assets in a way that is securely controlled and measured, yet easy to access and understand in a self-service approach. Done well, API management provides the virtual welcome center for a self-guided tour.

From more of an internal approach, one of the trends that reinforces the need for API management is the growing tension between line-of-business and IT, which is typified by LOB-lead projects that attempt to minimize dependencies on the core IT organization. This has been described by industry analysts, such as Gartner, as the emergence of Bimodal IT where the business intends to drive more dynamic systems of engagement that give them some degree of freedom from the back-end systems of record that are heavy and slow to change. In this case, API management serves as the clean hand-off point that can help streamline the relationship between LOB-lead projects and core IT.

As with most any technology solution, realizing effective API management requires careful planning and perhaps some non-traditional IT skills. The rendering of IT services as API’s is not necessarily the hard part. Defining internal and external-facing processes to manage the lifecycle of API usage will be an important factor in the long term value proposition. What’s more, solid technical writing skills can be crucial to making or breaking the developers’ experience as they discover and embrace the IT assets that are made available. Nonetheless, a simplified pilot can be an effective entry point to get started on the journey.
TxMQ works with companies of all sizes and shapes to harness the potential of the digital economy. Get in touch today for information on how we can partner with you on your digital evolution.
(Image by opensource.com)