How Connectivity-led APIs Are Improving Access To The Cloud Ecosystem
23 April, 2020 by Alex Hawkes
They’ve been described as connectivity tissues that link together ecosystems and technologies, and identified as the foundations for digital transformation. They’ve even been compared to a modern-day Rosetta Stone.
No matter how you describe them, Application Program Interfaces (APIs) are becoming more mission-critical for today’s businesses.
A brief history of APIs
In a nutshell, APIs exist to abstract the underlying complexity of a system whilst allowing third parties to integrate with and extend their own systems and capabilities.
From streamlining operations to monetising data and creating new channels of communication, there are countless reasons why the smallest start-ups through to the largest multi-nationals are using APIs to gain a competitive edge in the market.
When it comes to the cloud ecosystem, however, APIs are most famous for helping businesses integrate their own system infrastructure with cloud-based platforms and services. They’ve played a starring role in increasing platform access and helping bring cloud computing to almost every market segment. They are a rich source of cloud innovation and collaboration, and according to the State of API Integration Report from Cloud Elements, at least 50% of all B2B collaboration occurs via APIs.
But now they are also delivering new value in the enterprise network, where the emergence of API-led connectivity is enabling businesses to tackle some security issues and improve overall network experience.
Addressing the latest security concerns
As more mission-critical workloads have moved to the cloud, CIOs are finding themselves managing more mission-critical applications outside of their firewalls. This is becoming even trickier to manage.
We recently looked at how the ongoing COVID-19/Coronavirus outbreak has caused many enterprises to rapidly enable, or prioritise a plan for the majority of employees to work from home. This change in working patterns has also raised concerns about maintaining the security of cloud environments during this period.
According to a new State of Cloud Security survey conducted by Fugue (4), a significant percentage of IT and cloud professionals (84%) are concerned about new security vulnerabilities created during the swift adoption of new access policies, networks and devices used for managing cloud infrastructure remotely.
Connecting over the public internet is becoming more insecure and unreliable, prompting many enterprises to deploy private network circuits between a cloud location and their data centre, office, or colocation environment.
At the same time as strengthening security, these private connections can reduce network costs, increase bandwidth and provide a more consistent network experience than internet-based connections. Furthermore, Software Defined Interconnection® (SDI®) can also give enterprises even greater control over their connectivity in terms of routing, resilience and reliability.
The long-term value of connectivity-led APIs
By using connectivity-led APIs to provide resilient, reliable access to those business APIs deeper in the stack, enterprises can capitalise on elasticity to better cope with spikes in demand and make efficient connections, enabling them to adapt and innovate faster than the competition. These APIs are essential to creating workflows that can be carefully and strategically orchestrated so that productivity and impact are optimised.
Not only are these types of APIs helping to create safer and more stable access to the cloud ecosystem, but in the longer term they can help cloud-hungry businesses overcome significant investment challenges.