December 29, 2021
3 min read

Top API and Digital Transformation Trends for 2022

Marco Palladino
CTO and Co-Founder

Composable business. APIOps. Hyperautomation. Open policy agent. These are among the themes we're expecting to hear a lot more of in 2022.

Here are 12 key developments we're beginning to see in the world of digital transformation, APIs and the cloud.

Composable business becomes a "must-have"

A composable business is an agile business that uses modularity to quickly and easily shift strategy, operations and offerings as needed. Digital transformation and microservices are key to this agility. They will no longer be a "nice-to-have" but instead will gain "must-have" status in 2022.

An APIOps approach comes to API development

Enterprises are recognizing that API developers could be more efficient if they could spend less time on routine tasks such as testing and securing code. An APIOps approach can help achieve that goal by standardizing and automating code testing and security as well as other routine but essential processes supporting API development.

The multi-cloud approach gains serious traction

When enterprises do use cloud providers, they increasingly are opting not to use just one but multiple providers. Think of it as a best-of-breed approach and as a way of avoiding vendor lock-in. Enterprises are choosing what they believe to be the best cloud provider for each resource they opt to move to the cloud.

Hyperautomation gains traction

Hyperautomation applies advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and event-driven software to process automation. APIs often play a valuable role in implementing hyperautomation by enabling the advanced automation processes to interface with existing application services through APIs.

Some APIs won't exactly be open

Isn't the whole point of APIs to be open to encourage developers to use them? Sort of. But some cloud providers are beginning to offer only the basics such as compute and storage in an open manner.

If you want more sophisticated features such as IoT management, database-as-a-service or container orchestration, you may find that your cloud provider has implemented these in a proprietary manner. This is an approach that could make it impossible to easily shift data created using one cloud provider's API to another cloud provider.

API communities on the horizon

The more an API is reused, the more valuable it is. But all too often, APIs are not reused as often as they could be. We expect to see API communities established to address this, using a model similar to that of the app store.

API tools embedded in infrastructure software

Embedding API discovery tools into infrastructure software also can enable developers to more easily find appropriate APIs. Look for API management and orchestration tools to also be embedded into infrastructure software.

As Kubernetes clusters proliferate, they'll need better management

The variety of Kubernetes offerings has expanded, and Kubernetes clusters are being deployed at an unprecedented pace in the public and private cloud. Managing all this and simplifying container consolidation will become increasingly important moving forward. API gateways and microservices management tools can play a useful role in Kubernetes cluster management.

Enterprises address human resource challenges by rethinking app development

Look for enterprises to use a wider range of programming languages with the goal of hiring developers who have experience in any of the languages supported. Low-code and no-code tools also will gain traction as enterprises look to shift some development tasks to staffers with little or no development experience.

Open Policy Agent (OPA) will become a de-facto standard

Open Policy Agent (OPA) is an open source policy engine for cloud infrastructure that automates the process of defining and codifying policies, thereby saving a lot of time for developers. Enterprises are recognizing its value, and we expect to see enterprises using it more heavily in 2022, essentially making it a de-facto standard.

The demise of monolithic centralized load balancing

Monolithic centralized load balancing exists in the cloud and on premises. But we think its days are numbered. Making load balancing more distributed just makes sense at a time when organizations are moving to a multi-cloud approach, to microservices and to containers. It improves performance, reduces costs and it is portable across every platform. It is also the leading contender for the distributed load balancing crown is a new service mesh pattern known as ZeroLB.

Our work at Kong is closely aligned with many of these trends. Our service connectivity platform aims to hasten and simplify app development by supporting API management and automating development processes for multi-cloud and Kubernetes environments. We look forward to an exciting 2022!