How more than 1000 IT leaders use API management, integration and microservices

New research by Vanson Bourne says 98% of senior IT leaders are using APIs for digital transformation, but eight out of ten of these have trouble managing them.

Anna Birdsall Anna Birdsall

We live in a connected world in which your employees, partners and customers expect a unified, connected experience. But the digital transformation required to meet those expectations is becoming increasingly complex and difficult to navigate.  

The keys to making digital transformation possible are APIs, integration and microservices. But managing all these connections is no trivial task. The latest research from Vanson Bourne (a survey of over 1150 global IT executives) revealed that APIs are used extensively across a wide variety of projects in organizations, especially those focusing on digital transformation (98%), innovation (97%), and modernization (97%). 

Since APIs are the essential framework needed to interact with applications and expose the data to third parties, it’s no surprise that many organizations are leveraging these technologies to reap the advantages they bring, such as these top three benefits highlighted in the survey:  

  1. Enabling cloud applications and services to be integrated with other systems (66%)  
  2. Allowing flexibility when it comes to the delivery of services/information (62%) 
  3. Creating and personalizing custom user experiences (61%) 

But despite these undisputed benefits, challenges around the management of APIs remain. Many organizations still face significant obstacles when using them. Around eight in ten organizations are worried about the risk to scalability and quality of service (82%), lack API-enabled technology stacks (81%), face difficulties with life cycle management and upgrades (81%), have issues with creating/developing APIs (80%), struggle with a limited staff skillset (80%), ensuring API security (80%) and managing APIs generally (80%). 

It’s clear there is a huge opportunity for vendors to support customers with these challenges. Knowing these challenges and that they exist can help businesses better assist their existing and potential customers by offering the right solution for their needs. Because with an effective API management platform, you can connect data, apps, devices—and all the “things” you need to speed innovation and better support digital transformation projects. 

All this connectivity would not be possible without integration. APIs and integration go hand in hand, because integration systems connect APIs, data, services and disparate systems together so that the business can access and intelligently use their functionality. To that end, integration systems can improve productivity, provide greater visibility into data across the organization, and make it easier to innovate and achieve business goals. 

However, as seen with the use of APIs, integration processes are not yet optimal in most organizations, with 95% stating that at least small improvements are required. For more than six in ten (62%), extensive work is required, as these IT leaders stated that their integration processes are below average and require notable or significant improvements. 

The Vanson Bourne research revealed one important trend related to these challenges. Organizations are moving away from a cloud-only approach and instead are turning to hybrid (on-premises and cloud) solutions, up 75% from 64% in 2021. As the pandemic has progressed, organizations have moved out of crisis reactivity mode and have begun returning to the office, which has allowed organizations to create IT environments that better suit their needs. But hybrid environments can introduce increased complexity, and there are widespread challenges faced with integration among organizations. Challenges such as keeping up with implementing the latest critical security measures, rebuilding integrations as systems are changed or modernized, and empowering business users with simpler integration tools.  

Organizations can address and overcome many of these integration challenges by investing in solutions that combine technologies to ensure systems, applications and processes are all connected seamlessly. This type of solution could fundamentally lead to greater business success. 

For the second year in a row, the Vanson Bourne study highlights the need for a solution that simplifies integration processes in one bundled solution. Nine out of ten senior IT leaders agree that having one platform for APIs, integration and microservices would make IT infrastructure and processes simpler and more streamlined, make life easier for IT and business end users, reduce risk and make it easier to react to change, and give organizations greater flexibility to meet the requirements of their business.  

Crucially almost all IT leaders (92%) agree that organizations that can manage integration, APIs and microservices together will have a distinct advantage over competitors, demonstrating the potential role a combined platform offers in helping to modernize and transform organizations into fully connected enterprises.  

Simplify the truly connected enterprise with APIs, integration and microservices from Software AG 

At Software AG, we’ve studied the research, seen the trends, and have the tried-and-true experience of over 50 years to go on as we help the most successful companies in the world solve the complexities of these challenges. We built webMethods: a unified API, integration and microservices platform, to be the digital backbone integrating everything from applications to APIs in hybrid ecosystems so that information and insights flow freely. Its open architecture and multiuser UI provide the flexibility to integrate anything easily—in the cloud and on premises. We provide scalability and resilience, central visibility, and an ecosystem of connectivity to automate workflows and drive efficiency. With webMethods, businesses are ready to tackle the next generation of digital transformation challenges.