Thursday, 28th October 2021

Organisations combining API management with microservices will have competitive advantage

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

Software AG has published new research revealing that 97% of IT leaders believe it would be beneficial to combine the utilisation of APIs, microservices and integration, while only 1% 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, challenges and opportunities for further improvement in helping organisations become truly connected enterprises.

For modern organisations, having a highly connected IT environment is essential. The need for fast and efficient integration – between different systems, applications, departments and individuals – in enterprise organisations has never been greater, according to 92% of survey 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.

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 recognise this, they’re currently having difficulty achieving it. We understand this challenge and built a unified platform that connects microservices, integration and APIs, helping them to build a truly connected enterprise. With this platform in place, they are free to innovate and differentiate themselves in the eyes of their customers. This is true digital transformation.”

IT leaders agree on the benefits of APIs, microservices and integration

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


o98% of respondents believe that APIs are or would be extremely or very important to their organisations’ operations.

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

oNearly just as many (79%) said they utilise APIs for digital transformation projects.


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

o95% believe that microservices are or would be extremely or very important to their organisations' operations.

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


oIntegration solutions are now commonplace in organisations, with 99% using one.

oOrganisations 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%).

oNearly all (99.9%) respondents identify at least one benefit that is experienced in their organisation as a result of using integration apps or systems, with the top three reported as: improved productivity/time savings (54%); greater visibility across the organisation (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 maximised. Notably, concerns around lacking the needed skillset exists across all areas. The top three challenges faced when utilising APIs include: ensuring API security (48%); limited staff skillset to utilise 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 utilise 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 utilising integration applications and systems relates to ensuring security from external threats (47%). Internal organisational 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 organisations seek more sophisticated solutions, looking at APIs, microservices and integration solutions as separate parts is no longer enough. The future for organisations is a bundled solution that incorporates all of these together. Most IT leaders (97%) 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 respondents also believe that organisations that can integrate API management with their use of microservices will have a distinct advantage over their competitors.

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