Integration & IT Modernization

The Power of APIs – MuleSoft’s 2020 Connectivity Benchmark Report

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Organizations have caught on to the power of APIs.

API strategies mandated by leadership drive the highest rates of productivity and innovation. By leveraging APIs to integrate applications, data, and devices, organizations can take a more agile, flexible approach to digital transformation.

Perficient’s partner MuleSoft recently announced its 2020 Connectivity Benchmark Report on the state of IT and digital transformation. The global survey of 800 CIOs and IT decision-makers (ITDMs) at organizations with at least 1,000 employees highlighted that digital transformation is a must for businesses. About 92% of respondents are undertaking digital transformation initiatives or plan to in the next year.

However, integration challenges still exist for about 85% of organizations, stalling digital transformation and negatively impacting revenue, speed to market, and customer experiences.

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Businesses are struggling to overcome a common challenge. Of the almost 900 different applications used by the average organization, only 28% of those applications are integrated. As a result, more than half of businesses are unable to provide connected experiences for their customers and their employees.

The 2020 Connectivity Benchmark Report highlights new opportunities and challenges for businesses as they digitally transform.

IT must innovate faster, and with fewer resources

Traditional IT models are broken and organizations are forced to find new ways to accelerate project delivery and reuse integrations.

  • When IT cannot keep up with business demands, projects slip. More than half (59%) of organizations were not able to deliver on all of their projects last year, creating a backlog for 2020.
  • IT faces the constant balancing act of keeping the lights on and innovating. With current IT operating models, about 70% of IT’s time is spent running the business instead of focusing on innovation and development.
  • Organizations struggle to maintain the pace of the digital world. About two-thirds (64%) of ITDMs find it difficult to introduce new technologies because of their IT infrastructures.
  • New technology investments only increase the need for integration. The top four IT investment priorities for 2020 are security, big data and analytics, multi-cloud strategy, and AI/machine learning – all of which require integration with existing systems.

Businesses are failing to capture the full value of APIs without a company-wide strategy

About 80% of businesses are currently using public or private APIs, but few have developed a strategic approach to enable API usage across the business.

  • Company-wide API strategies are necessary to drive true value and reuse. Only 12% of organizations have to abide by company-wide API integration strategies for all projects. More than half implement APIs on a project-by-project basis or use a strategy that is siloed within certain parts of the business.
  • Businesses do not have an easy way to share APIs. Only about 42% of code, APIs, and best practice templates are available for developers to reuse. Most organizations also do not have an effective way to share APIs or integrations.
  • New business users are emerging, amplifying the need for reuse. Outside of IT, the top three business roles with integration needs include business analysts, data scientists, and customer support.
  • Citizen integrators lack critical internal resources. About 70% of ITDMs say they have a strategy in place to enable non-technical business users to easily integrate apps and data sources with APIs. Despite this, 67% do not have a team that is dedicated to drive the sharing and reusing of APIs.

API reuse is directly linked to the speed of innovation, operational efficiency, and revenue

By establishing API strategies that promote self-service and reuse, businesses put themselves in a much better position to innovate at speed, increase productivity, and open up new revenue streams.

  • Most organizations are making integration harder on themselves by not designing APIs for reuse. Among organizations that leverage APIs, 52% use them as part of the development process for new projects and 52% use them to build integrations. On the other hand, less than half say their APIs are reusable.
  • Organizations are not activating API ecosystems. Of those leveraging APIs, only 26% of organizations are driving innovation with partner and external developer ecosystems by exposing them to third parties.
  • When designed with intent, APIs drive business outcomes. Organizations that use APIs benefit from operational improvements such as increased productivity, increased innovation, and greater cross-team agility for self-serve IT.
  • APIs are the new revenue stream. On average, nearly one-third of businesses’ revenue is generated by APIs or by API-related implementations.

Click here to learn more about how MuleSoft and Perficient can help you achieve your organization’s digital transformation goals with APIs.

About the Author

Caitlin is the Marketing Coordinator for Perficient's Automation, DevOps, and API practices. She's been in her role since September 2019, and has a background in editing and writing for a variety of brands and publications. She lives in St. Louis and is a proud St. Louis Blues fan.

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