January 13, 2021

Multicloud Strategy: Overcoming Silos, Security, & Compliance Challenges With APIs

API Lifecycle Management

As multicloud rapidly gains adoption, many organizations struggle to develop a sound multicloud strategy. Among the many challenges, scaling multicloud APIs has proven to be particularly difficult. 

In this blog, we spotlight three common challenges and demonstrate how API management can resolve each one.

Why Use a Multicloud Strategy?

According to a recent Gartner survey, 81% of public cloud users are leveraging multiple cloud providers. Developing a multicloud strategy is a critical step in successfully scaling apps, services, and products across multiple cloud providers. As more organizations scale multiple cloud infrastructures, APIs offer a major strategy advantage. By using sound API management principles, organizations can overcome many of the headaches that accompany multicloud or hybrid cloud integrations.

How to Overcome Multicloud API Challenges

Challenge #1: Silos

Technology silos have plagued enterprises since the dawn of computing. The sheer scale and complexity of multicloud silos can:

  • Slow innovation
  • Disrupt workflows
  • Create barriers to interoperability

According to Gartner, top public cloud players such as Amazon Web Services, Azure, and Google Cloud represent the lion-share of the cloud market. The problem with these platforms is they are not optimized to  operate well with other cloud platforms. In fact, each would prefer to meet all of your cloud computing needs. Therefore, interoperability is simply not a big priority.

Leveraging multiple cloud providers delivers many benefits. For instance, you can create greater application agility, minimize vendor lock-in, and improve disaster recovery. But how can you break down the barriers between cloud providers and reap the benefits?

Solution: Leveraging APIs To Create Multicloud Interoperability

API management is a digital approach to systems integration which uses APIs as building blocks to expose business capabilities across an entire digital enterprise ecosystem. In order to break down silos between multiple cloud providers, the first step is to build an API on top of each cloud infrastructure.

Next, you can unify and make these systems available within a single API portal. At this point, your developers and administrators can manage the entire multicloud ecosystem from a single interface. Once unified by APIs and made available through an internal developer portal, your need to manage each cloud infrastructure separately will disappear. 

While you technically could build each API manually, API management software can expedite this process significantly, while providing added security benefits. This bring us to our next challenge.

Challenge #2: Security

We’ve all heard the horror stories and read the news about public cloud data breaches. According to Ermetic and IDC research, nearly 80% of companies have experienced a cloud data breach in the past 18 months. This is the main reason many enterprises are hesitant to go all-in on cloud and multicloud strategies.

Yet as Gartner points out, the cloud itself is not inherently less secure. In fact, their research has found that most vulnerabilities are due to lax security policies, insufficient security software, and sheer user error.

So, how can APIs help?

Solution: Enhanced Multicloud Security Using APIs

API management can increase your multicloud security in three critical ways.

First, when managing your multicloud environments through a single API-driven ecosystem, you are drastically limiting your points of potential exposure. Additionally, a single API-driven approach offers greater line-of-sight over any vulnerabilities that exist across your entire cloud infrastructure.

The second benefit depends on whether you leverage an API management software or develop a homegrown API-driven multicloud strategy. Akana’s platform comes with out-of-the-box security features, including FAPI (financial-grade APIs) compliance. We abide by OAuth 2.0 and OIDC standards, which translates to a stringent multicloud security framework.

The final security feature is API analytics. Your APIs can be used to track core business functions as well as cloud security indicators. Using API analytics, you can track configuration errors, transfer errors, compromised hardware, and even malicious intrusions. When managing your multicloud stack from a single API-driven interface, alerts can be consolidated and even automated. This reduces security response times significantly.

Challenge #3: Compliance & Governance

Managing your cloud solutions separately adds another challenge. You have to maintain strict IT compliance and government protocols across disparate environments.

In theory, you can develop a governance model that fits your industry and ensure compliance through strict protocols. In reality, this becomes significantly more difficult when utilizing multiple cloud environments. Each comes with their own nuances and vulnerabilities.

Likewise, developing a compliance and governance model for each separate solution will prove time consuming and costly. This can also be cumbersome in any potential audit situation, or when oversight committees require consolidated reporting and updates.

Solution: Consolidated Compliance & Governance Oversight Using APIs

Managing multicloud environments with APIs offers your security architects, governance professionals, and C-Suite peace of mind.

By consolidating and managing a multicloud stack using APIs, your enterprise can develop a single IT governance model, because you can track compliance via a unified API-driven interface. This consolidated view can pull data from all APIs across your multicloud environment, effectively keeping tabs on compliance across all cloud solutions.

With a custom configuration, you can set alerts, compliance thresholds, and build dashboards unique to your governance and oversight needs. Using the same API-driven principles, you can also develop APIs across on-premises, hybrid, and homegrown solutions in order to consolidate your governance oversight using a single API-driven platform.

In short, your APIs can stitch it all together. This gives you a single point of contact for ensuring governance and compliance standards across the enterprise.

Build Your Multicloud Strategy With Akana

Akana’s API management software can help you develop a sound multicloud strategy in three important ways:  

  • Reducing technology silos by consolidating cloud management using APIs
  • Enhancing security through greater line-of-sight, alerts, and API analytics
  • Reducing governance and oversight headaches through consolidated cloud-based API reporting

In addition, Akana unlocks cloud-native compatibility for organizations scaling apps and services on private and public clouds. This can help you maximize investments, leverage advantages of all managed environments at scale, and optimize your digital transformation strategy.

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