Combining API Management with Microservices Delivers a Competitive Advantage
May 20, 2021

For modern organizations, having a highly connected IT environment is essential. 97% of IT leaders believe it would be beneficial to combine the utilization of APIs, microservices and integration, while only 1% say that they do so already, as revealed in a recent survey conducted by Software AG.

The need for fast and efficient integration — between different systems, applications, departments and individuals — in enterprise organizations has never been greater, according to 92% of respondents.

This need will only continue to grow, especially considering IDC’s prediction that over 500 million digital apps and services will be developed and deployed using cloud-native approaches by 2023.

IT Leaders Agree on Benefits of APIs, Microservices and Integration

APIs:

■ 98% of respondents believe that APIs are or would be extremely or very important to their organizations’ operations.

■ More than eight of 10 (86%) IT leaders believe their organizations would be working in silos without the use of APIs.

■ Nearly just as many (79%) said they utilize APIs for digital transformation projects.

Microservices:

■ Most (81%) IT leaders currently utilize microservices within their organization to some extent and almost a fifth (18%) don’t use microservices currently, but plan to in the future.

■ 95% believe that microservices are or would be extremely or very important to their organization’s operations.

■ More than half (54%) plan to implement the use of microservices within the next year.

Integration:

■ Integration solutions are now commonplace in organizations, with 99% using one.

■ Organizations are most likely to be running some form of hybrid integration solution, both on-premises and in the cloud (64%), versus cloud-only (23%) and on-premises only (12%).

■ Nearly all (99.9%) respondents identify at least one benefit that is experienced in their organization as a result of using integration apps or systems, with the top three reported as: improved productivity/time savings (54%); greater visibility across the organization (47%); ability to manage information better (47%).

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%); limited staff skillset to utilize APIs (41%); risk to scalability and quality of service (40%).

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

Lastly, the top challenge when utilizing integration applications and systems relates to ensuring security from external threats (47%). Internal organizational barriers such as limited budget (40%), staff skillset (40%) and resistance to change (40%) 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 believe this approach offers benefits, which could include: boosted productivity and time savings (51%); higher customer satisfaction (49%); the ability to gain better customer insights (49%); faster time to market (45%); long term-cost savings (44%).

A vast majority (93%) of IT leaders 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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