What Businesses Need to Watch Out for in 2022: API Trends

Degui Xu

Solutions Engineer at Kong

If 2020 was considered a year to forget, 2021 would not be too far away from it. 

2021 saw the world transitioning after experiencing a terrifying pandemic, taking the new normal in businesses for a spin. Organisations faced new challenges and opportunities, pivoted to business models that aligned with long-term goals and were ready to react rapidly in a volatile business climate. With 2022 on the horizon, here are some trends to expect that will shape digital transformation in the coming year.  

  1. Decentralisation will be the new black.  

    The decentralised approach is set to impact organisations across the board in terms of organisation structure and application architecture. Organisations will in all likelihood continue to work remotely and have a distributed setup as the pandemic leaks into the new year. As for application architecture, organisations will have a continuous shift towards microservice-based architectures as part of their API strategy and a hybrid or multi-cloud environment in favour of decentralising applications.  
  2. Private cloud will come back in vogue for DIY enterprises. 

    However, large, tech-savvy organisations are becoming much more judicious in how they use the cloud and will increasingly repatriate from their “all in cloud” stance. We’ll start to see this shift happening in 2022. In much the same way that enterprises have embraced open source software and have opted to do it themselves, tech-savvy companies are beginning to realise they can prioritise their own private cloud better and just use the public cloud for specific use cases such as usage bursts. For example, Siemens launched MindSphere for private cloud in 2021 to meet strict regulatory compliance and data privacy needs. 
  3. Kubernetes marketplace to find consolidation and consistency  

    The establishment of Kubernetes as the platform of choice for the deployment and efficient management of most enterprise workloads – at least directionally – is no longer a question. However, the variety of Kubernetes offerings available (across cloud providers and private or so called “hybrid” offerings) has only increased. With the ease of deployment of Kubernetes clusters also decreasing, the stage is well set for “sprawl” problems of the same variety that we have been seeing for multiple cloud accounts, and prior to that for VMs in the virtualized infrastructure world. This will make the ability to manage the lifecycle and applications on these differing Kubernetes providers in a consistent manner, as well as the ability to consolidate them easily, more and more critical.   
  4. Rise of open and vendor-neutral APIs will drive unlimited innovation. 

    Kubernetes and containers have forever changed the way software is packaged and maintained, and have offered unprecedented application portability. These technologies have freed developers from vendor lock-in and enabled APIs and microservices to become the new fuel for our digital world, providing the foundation for unlimited innovation. As we enter 2022, we expect more developers will adopt open and vendor-neutral APIs so they can create applications in their preferred environments without being locked into a particular vendor ecosystem.  
  5. Policy as code will emerge as a new standard. 

    Open Policy Agent (OPA) is an open source policy engine that enables unified policy enforcement across the entire stack. In 2021, it became a graduated CNCF project with strong adoption and feature maturity. We predict OPA will have a breakout year in the enterprise as it will be leveraged for more and more use cases. We’ll also start to see new technology solutions come to market that natively integrate with OPA. 

    OPA enables enterprises to automatically define and codify their enterprise policies, instead of manually creating and maintaining these policies each time, saving tremendous developer time and resources. With the adoption of cloud native architectures, writing and enforcing policies and authorization for things like APIs, Kubernetes configuration authorization is becoming beyond human scale. Having a codified, unified way of applying policies enables the automation level that is becoming more and more critical to every enterprise every year in order to be able to operate at scale.  

    The digital transformation process has been a rapid one during the COVID-19 pandemic. Business operations and the workforce will still be impacted in 2022. Digital transformation is no longer a nice-to-have, and these five upcoming trends are set to thrust businesses onto the path of future technology.