How APIs are driving innovation in the cloud

By Monica Brink, EMEA Marketing Director, iland.

Many businesses over the recent years have started their journey towards cloud adoption, with reports from the Cloud Industry Forum in 2015 suggesting approximately 84% of companies in the UK have adopted at least one cloud based service.

In addition to running applications in the cloud, we are increasingly seeing companies using the platform to test new applications and develop breakthrough technologies. That is because, when done right, cloud gives IT teams agile, scalable and cost-efficient infrastructure they can leverage on demand.

Further, some cloud platforms also come with advanced security, backup and disaster recovery options that enable teams to protect research and development initiatives and reduce risks. Indeed, cloud has quickly become the optimal platform for DevOps and bimodal IT operations that must balance fast innovation as well as reliable operational requirements.

This new age of cloud is giving companies the ability to drive new business models through IT and the cloud. To fully capitalise on the opportunity, programmers and DevOps teams must be able to access cloud infrastructure on their terms.

Sometimes, that means they require a native, turnkey console that allows them to easily manage all of their cloud resources. However, there are some situations that require a developer to programmatically interface with their cloud. In these situations, the cloud provider must offer a solid Application Programming Interface (API) and complementary software development kits (SDKs) to give customers a straightforward gateway to the comprehensive data and services integrated into their cloud platform.

With the right API and SDKs, DevOps departments can really begin to work faster and more efficiently, delivering real results when it comes to developing new software and applications in the cloud. Of course, to speed the process, it’s important for developers to avoid raw cloud infrastructure and look for a cloud platform that integrates functionality like compliance reporting, advanced security, customisable alerting and disaster recovery. These capabilities provide a springboard so that teams can focus on innovating instead of overcoming foundational infrastructure challenges.

As an example, here are four key use cases that illustrate how IT can benefit from the iland cloud API and software development kits:

1. DevOps and Operations automation: Developers and systems engineers can rapidly spin up virtual machines or configure systems using their existing deployment tools. There is no need for extended training or a deep understanding of the data structure and workflow to add a connector. Straightforward SDKs mean creating the lightweight cloud interfaces can be simple.

2. Operations integration: Operations teams can access and visually integrate cloud data alongside their other monitoring tools in a single display or network operations centre.

3. Reporting Flexibility: Whether delivering billing reports or assembling executive updates, the API can ensure IT can easily and accurately demonstrate cloud success.

4. Data to fuel innovation: With access to the iland Big Data back-end, customers can leverage performance, capacity, usage, security and compliance information about their systems to drive decision-making, prioritisation, and IT innovation.

With APIs that allow businesses to leverage the cloud in new tangible and practical ways, customers can test and develop applications like never before. Having an API that is more simplified and consumer defined can drive the benefits of cloud throughout organisations and industries, and allow IT teams to truly show their potential. Cloud growth sees no sign of abating as organisations migrate more of their applications and infrastructure, and opening up APIs like this certainly presents more opportunities for greater innovation, development and enhanced products and services.

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