Analyst Report: Building an API-driven Ecosystem for the Internet of Things

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On Internet of Things

The latest wave of expansion for the Internet of Things (IoT) builds on existing approaches to web and mobile development using APIs built on commonly available, low-cost web infrastructure. HTTP may not be the ideal machine-to-machine (M2M) communication mechanism for all IoT developers, but it is the preferred format for syncing valuable IoT data to the cloud and thereby making it accessible to other systems and third-party apps. This is where the true value of IoT lies.

API pioneers like Salesforce.com, Amazon, Google, and Twitter have provided valuable blueprints for deploying both web platforms and mobile applications. APIs provide the core layer of programmatic resources developers need to successfully design, deploy, and operate the applications that consumers demand. But API-driven platforms are proving to be much more than just technical endpoints: They are building blocks that accelerate developer success. By exploring existing blueprints of API pioneers and understanding how they are already being applied, we can set the stage for the next round of internet technology growth.

Key findings in this report include:

  • IoT hardware is not the end game: The profits, margins, and innovations will come from the new products and services built on open, flexible APIs.
  • Technical excellence is not enough. Successful IoT developers must properly onboard, support, monetize, secure, and evolve their platforms in order to compete.
  • Modern APIs enable service composition rather than individual functions, creating an IoT supply chain.
  • Ecosystem architects should build on practices established in mobile-app development for their foundation, customizing only when necessary.

Thumbnail image courtesy of alengo/istock.

Table of Contents

  1. Summary
  2. Beyond the Hardware: API-Enabled Platforms
  3. The Building Blocks of API Enabled IoT Platforms
  4. Into Action
  5. Key Takeaways
  6. About Kin Lane
  7. About Gigaom Research

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