MuleSoft Survey Finds Top Five Reasons Why APIs Are Taking Centre Stage for Businesses

New Research Shows the Need for Business Agility Is Fueling API Strategies and the Growing Interest in Microservices
Tuesday, January 12, 2016

LONDON – January 12, 2016 – MuleSoft, the company that makes it easy to connect applications, data and devices, today announced the findings of its European API survey on IT pressures and the top reasons that APIs are enabling businesses. The survey findings suggest that agility is a key reason behind most companies’ API strategies and for fueling growing interest in microservices.

With new opportunities in the digital era to connect the unconnected, business success will be defined by how effectively enterprises can connect their applications, data, clouds and partner ecosystems. APIs offer a new way for businesses to connect not only these assets, but also their customers, other businesses, internal employees and new technologies. MuleSoft surveyed 800 IT industry professionals across Europe to assess how organisations in the region are planning for and implementing APIs. An infographic on the results can be found here.

Pressure to Deliver IT Services Mounts from Across the Business

Over three-quarters (78 percent) of IT professionals questioned said pressure to deliver IT services from across the organisation had increased over the past 12 months. Of these, two-thirds (66 percent) said that change was needed in order to meet a “significant” or “drastic” increase in pressure. Whereas pressure has traditionally come from mainly sales and marketing departments, it is now also coming from finance and operations, C-level executives, and research and development. Almost 30 percent of respondents said they are getting ad hoc requests from departmental business groups.

“IT is now critical to a company’s ability to stay competitive in a rapidly changing business environment,” said Ross Mason, founder and vice president of product strategy, MuleSoft. “IT teams are facing growing pressure from the boardroom and from every corner of the organization. The old IT operating mode is fractured. IT leaders are looking to an API strategy to reduce the complexity of their landscape, unlock assets and enable much greater agility through accessibility and reuse. Organisations are increasingly seeing the benefits of APIs, including the ability to generate value by connecting their existing assets with those of their customers, partners and employees.”

APIs Take Center Stage for Enabling Business and Agility

Of companies with an API strategy in place, the majority said they are currently using APIs to free data, specifically link new software with existing systems and applications (72 percent) or unlock data silos (55 percent). 52 percent also indicated the need to increase agility and enable business teams to self-serve IT as a reason for having an API strategy.

When asked about the values APIs add to the business, the top five reasons were:

1.     Enabling applications (71 percent)

2.     Agility (67 percent)

3.     Ability to enable partners and affiliates (56 percent)

4.     Driving innovation (47 percent)

5.     Engaging and developing new channels (47 percent)

Mason added, “We are seeing CIOs shift from traditional IT delivery models to delivering capabilities to their business, allowing the consumers of these capabilities to build their own applications and processes. This is the decentralisation of IT, where IT no longer owns the applications but are governors of the data. This contributes to the expanding partnership between business and IT. The key step will be decentralising IT by opening up APIs to developers and lines-of-business, so they can gain access to reusable data to try out new products or explore new digital services.”

More than 80 percent of respondents said they plan to generate new revenue streams from their APIs within the next five years, up from 22 percent who do so today.

Microservices Are an Accelerating Trend and Entering the IT Agenda

Agility was also shown to be behind much of the interest in microservices. Respondents using or thinking of using microservices identified the ability to add new features or capabilities without re-writing a whole application as most important. However, many expressed concerns about implementing a microservices architecture due to growing complexity associated with the increasing number of microservices that a business would manage.

38 percent of respondents said they were currently using microservices. Of those that weren’t, 44 percent said they were planning to do so. 26 percent were planning to leverage microservices within the next six months.

Methodology
Between November 3 and November 12, 2015, MuleSoft surveyed 800 IT professionals across Europe to assess how organisations of all sizes are using APIs and changing the way IT operates due to increasing demand to deliver services. The survey’s margin of error is +/- 3 percentage points at a 95 percent confidence interval.

About MuleSoft
MuleSoft makes it easy to connect the world's applications, data and devices. MuleSoft’s Anypoint Platform™ enables companies to unlock the full potential of their applications and data through API-led connectivity, both on-premises and in the cloud. Organizations in over 60 countries, from emerging companies to Global 500 corporations, use MuleSoft to innovate faster and transform their businesses. https://www.mulesoft.com/

MuleSoft is a registered trademark of MuleSoft, Inc. All other marks are those of respective owners.