Cloud-first strategy using APIs

As many organizations push forward in adopting cloud-first strategies, issues often arise with addressing how their suite of applications and systems can remain integrated securely and efficiently. Whilst the movement to the cloud was a huge step in technological advancement, advancements in API technology now make “hybrid cloud” models possible, and businesses exist both in the cloud and on premises. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at how a cloud-first strategy can be API-enabled and what some of the options look like when attempting to leverage APIs to their fullest extent.

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What Does Cloud-First Mean?

As the name implies, a cloud-first strategy aims to utilize resources in the cloud as much as possible. There are numerous benefits to moving your business to the cloud, including the following:

  • Improved flexibility, especially in the work-from-home era of business.
  • Lowered or eliminated overhead costs, such as required maintenance for on-site servers.
  • Improved access to other cloud apps and microservices, even in multi-cloud environments.
  • Ease in configurability and faster time-to-market.
  • Available across all platforms.
  • More reliable than traditional IT. 
  • Allows for self-service

Back To Earth: The Hybrid Cloud

But this doesn’t mean abandoning the ground completely. Many businesses still rely on legacy applications, especially if they’ve been operating for a long time. Replacing these systems can often be more trouble than it’s worth. At the same time, businesses want to take advantage of the new technologies that exist in the cloud. Sometimes digital transformation efforts don’t include a complete overhaul of one’s business model, but simpler readjustments to their application lineup. A hybrid cloud structure accommodates business needs while still allowing the flexibility of cloud-native processes.

This wasn’t possible in the past when enterprises were bound by license agreements and compatibility issues. But with today’s software advancements and a composable enterprise architecture, you can include the benefits of both on-premises and cloud-based apps in your business models with an API-first strategy. The solution here is to modernize your legacy applications not by rehosting them in the cloud but by giving them the functionality of cloud services while on the ground.

APIs Bridging The Gap

Thanks to advancements in API technology, businesses can rethink their cloud-only strategy. It’s no longer necessary to move their entire business architecture to the cloud. APIs can and do serve as an integration platform by connecting on-premises applications to one endpoint and cloud apps or other APIs to the other.

But APIs aren’t only made to be connectors between legacy and cloud apps. You can address some of the problems with legacy applications with a properly implemented API. For example, one of the major concerns with using a legacy system is security. The efforts of hackers and bad actors online could easily outstrip the security features available at the time a legacy app hit the market. APIs can add a new layer of security to your legacy program by adding modern API gateway authentication technology.

Other added features made possible with APIs include automation for those legacy processes, improved data analysis, or even artificial intelligence. Incorporating APIs into your business strategy will unlock new data and features. These can be either directly from the API or through access to other apps and microservices in the cloud. The hybrid cloud model makes cloud-first strategies a reality by implementing all the benefits of cloud computing without the big push to move everything. Connect your data centers on the ground with new technology in the cloud.

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About DreamFactory

DreamFactory can help make your API-first strategy a reality by guiding you through every step of the API management process—whether that means building your first API, converting your older SOAP web services to a REST API, or managing your existing API ecosystem. Our SaaS platform is run by API experts who have resources to help you. Let us walk you through all of your API design and lifecycle needs.

Ready to get started? Sign up for your 14-day free trial and take the guided tour today. Use can use your business’ existing database or our sample data provided as part of the tour. Learn how to build a full-featured, documented, and secure API in minutes.