One of the fastest-growing areas of innovation is in network as a service (NaaS), providing a connected, automated approach to networking. NaaS equips companies with improved connectivity, better cyber security, and a high level of performance without having to make a major infrastructure investment. Application programming interfaces (APIs) are a key part of NaaS because they equip companies for network integration.
The API economy is quickly growing. The State of APIs report, an annual survey conducted by API provider Rapid, released its January 2023 findings showing that of the 850 responses, IT professionals believed that businesses focused on digital transformation would struggle to thrive if they were not also an API business. This was particularly true in telecommunications, financial services, and technology industries.
In addition, NaaS will deliver network services, but companies end up with an NaaS solution provider that is sourcing their middle-mile provider and last-mile access from different partners. For the company utilizing NaaS, it seems like a cohesive system, but the way in which NaaS will be assembled highlights the importance of standards-based APIs.
Coordination of ecosystem elements and partners must be a priority, with every aspect relying heavily on APIs. Standards-based APIs allow providers to integrate with companies and deliver on critical aspects of NaaS:
Automation/Orchestration: APIs allow for the automation and orchestration of services, with APIs equipping the company to program and manage infrastructure for easier deployment, management, and configuration of the network. When companies can automate provisioning, business policy, and enforcing of that policy, as well as scalability, the burden on IT staff is significantly reduced.
Interoperability: Within the service delivery, standardized APIs allow for improved compatibility between different ecosystem functions. Companies are able to integrate their NaaS solutions in their infrastructure and connect with critical services and applications. When using standard APIs, providers equip companies for ready use of NaaS without major interruptions to business processes.
Broader Integration: Standardized APIs allow companies to broaden their approach to NaaS, making it possible to integrate with more ancillary solutions, including cyber security tools, analytics, or specialty applications.
Customization/Flexibility: APIs offer companies the flexibility to tailor and customize networking solutions for specific performance and feature requirements. Companies can utilize APIs to add new functionalities or build additional services on their NaaS solution, equipping them to adapt the infrastructure to future-proof their business, and allow for innovation.
If you need assistance navigating decisions around NaaS and the use of standards-based APIs to equip your networking for customization, automation, and more, contact us at ITBroker.com. We can guide you in the process of investing in a network upgrade to NaaS and choose solutions that future-proof your company.