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Combining API Management with Microservices Offers Competitive Advantage, Say 93 Percent of Global IT Leaders -- Software AG Survey

Although most enterprises have adopted API management, microservices, and integration solutions, survey respondents see the importance of a unified approach.

<p><em>Note: TDWI’s editors carefully choose vendor-issued press releases about new or upgraded products and services. We have edited and/or condensed this release to highlight key features but make no claims as to the accuracy of the vendor's statements.</em></p>

Software AG released new research indicating 97 percent of IT leaders believe it would be beneficial to combine the utilization of APIs, microservices, and integration, although only 1 percent say that they do so already. Conducted by Vanson Bourne, the survey of 950 global IT leaders examined the state of APIs, microservices, and integration, uncovering trends in adoption.

For modern organizations, having a highly connected IT environment is essential. The need for fast and efficient integration -- between different systems, applications, departments, and individuals -- in enterprise organizations has never been greater, according to 92 percent of survey respondents. This need will only continue to grow, especially considering IDC’s prediction that more than 500 million digital apps and services will be developed and deployed using cloud-native approaches by 2023. 

Suraj Kumar, GM of API, integration, and microservices business unit, Software AG, commented: “The ability to liberate and integrate all data across applications, devices, and partners is a mandate for digital business excellence. However, this survey demonstrates that while businesses recognize this, they’re currently having difficulty achieving it.”

IT Leaders Agree on the Benefits of APIs, Microservices, and Integration

The overwhelming majority of IT leaders surveyed by Software AG recognize the benefits of APIs, microservices, and integration solutions -- and have already implemented them within their organizations, specifically: 

  • APIs:
    • 98 percent of respondents believe that APIs are or would be extremely or very important to their organizations’ operations
    • More than eight of 10 (86 percent) IT leaders believe their organizations would be working in silos without the use of APIs
    • Nearly as many (79 percent) said they utilize APIs for digital transformation projects
  • Microservices:
    • Most (81 percent) IT leaders currently utilize microservices within their organization to some extent and almost a fifth (18 percent) don’t use microservices currently but plan to in the future
    • 95 percent believe that microservices are or would be extremely or very important to their organizations' operations
    • More than half (54 percent) plan to implement the use of microservices within the next year
  • Integration
    • Integration solutions are now commonplace in organizations, with 99 percent using one
    • Organizations are most likely to be running some form of hybrid integration solution, both on premises and in the cloud (64 percent), versus cloud-only (23 percent) and on premises only (12 percent)
    • Nearly all (99.9 percent) respondents identify at least one benefit experienced in their organization as a result of using integration apps or systems, with the top three reported as: improved productivity/time savings (54 percent); greater visibility across the organization (47 percent); and the ability to manage information better (47 percent)

Challenges Persist, Limiting Further Success

Despite widespread adoption, barriers remain that limit APIs, microservices, and integration systems from being maximized. Notably, concerns around lacking the needed skillset exists across all areas. The top three challenges faced when utilizing APIs include: ensuring API security (48 percent); limited staff skill set to utilize APIs (41 percent); and risk to scalability and quality of service (40 percent). 

When it comes to microservices, the following pitfalls were noted: limited budget to invest in this (48 percent); limited staff skill set to utilize microservices (47 percent); difficult to manage the entire IT environment (45 percent); complexity (45 percent); and integration of different apps/services is more difficult (45 percent). 

Finally, the top challenge when utilizing integration applications and systems relates to ensuring security from external threats (47 percent). Internal organizational barriers such as limited budget (40 percent), staff skillset (40 percent) and resistance to change (40 percent) also come into play.

The Opportunity for a Holistic Approach

As integration demands continue to grow and organizations seek more-sophisticated solutions, looking at APIs, microservices, and integration solutions as separate parts is no longer enough. The future for organizations is a bundled solution that incorporates all of these together. Most IT leaders (97 percent) believe this approach offers benefits, which could include: boosted productivity and time savings (51 percent); higher customer satisfaction (49 percent); the ability to gain better customer insights (49 percent); faster time to market (45 percent); and long-term cost savings (44 percent). A vast majority (93 percent) of respondents also believe that organizations that can integrate API management with their use of microservices will have a distinct advantage over their competitors.

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