MuleSoft has published the findings of the 2020 Connectivity Benchmark Report on the state of IT and digital transformation. The global survey of 800 IT decision makers (ITDMs) in organisations with at least 1,000 employees revealed that more than half (59%) of organisations were unable to deliver on all their projects last year, creating a backlog for 2020.
- IT departments are having to innovate faster but with fewer resources: Half of respondents say their IT budgets will increase by less than 10% this year, despite their project workloads skyrocketing by 40% (up from 33% last year).
- IT faces the constant balancing act of keeping the lights on and innovating: Nearly 70% of IT’s time is spent running the business, instead of focusing on innovation and development.
- Organisations struggle to maintain the pace of our digital world: Nearly two-thirds (64%) of ITDMs find it difficult to introduce new technologies because of their IT infrastructures.
“Businesses are under increasing pressure to digitally transform as a failure to do so risks negatively impacting revenues. However, traditional IT operating models are broken, forcing organisations to find new ways of accelerating project delivery and reusing integrations,” said Ian Fairclough, vice-president of services, EMEA at MuleSoft. “For organisations with hundreds of different applications, integration remains a significant challenge towards them being able to deliver the connected experiences customers strive for. This report highlights that while ITDMs recognise the value of APIs, many organisations have yet to fully realise their potential.”
Businesses are failing to capture the full value of APIs without a company-wide strategy: The vast majority of organisations understand the power and potential of APIs – 80% currently use public or private APIs. However, very few have developed a strategic approach to enabling API usage across the business.
- Company-wide API strategies are necessary to drive true value and reuse: Only 12% of organisations (9% in the UK) are mandated by leadership to abide by a company-wide API integration strategy for all projects. More than half (54%) implement APIs on a project-by-project basis or use a strategy that’s siloed to certain parts of the business.
- Businesses don’t have an easy way to share APIs: Less than half (42%) of internal software assets and components (e.g., code, APIs, best practice templates) are available for developers to reuse - this figure falls to just over a third (34%) in the UK. Most organisations (80%) also don’t have an effective way to share APIs or integrations. - in the UK this figure rises to 96%,
- Citizen integrators lack critical internal resources: 70% of ITDMs say they have a good strategy in place to enable non-technical business users to easily integrate apps and data sources with APIs. Despite this high level of confidence, 67% don’t have a team that’s dedicated to driving the sharing and reuse of APIs - in the UK only half of organisations have a dedicated team.
- New business users are emerging, amplifying the need for reuse: Outside of IT, the top three business roles with integration needs include business analysts (40%), data scientists (38%) and customer support (38%).
API reuse is directly linked to 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. However, only 42% of ITDMs (30% in the UK) are leveraging APIs to increase the efficiency of their application development processes.
- Most organisations are making integration harder on themselves by not designing APIs for reuse: Among organisations that leverage APIs, 52% use them as part of the development process for new projects and 52% use them to build integrations. However, less than half (46%) say their APIs are reusable, highlighting outsize opportunity for IT to be more effective in the delivery process.
- Organisations aren’t activating API ecosystems: Only 26% of organisations are driving innovation with partner and external developer ecosystems by exposing APIs to third parties.
- When designed with intent, APIs drive business outcomes: Organisations using APIs benefit from operational improvements such as increased productivity (54%), increased innovation (47%) and greater cross-team agility for self-serve IT (46%).
- APIs are the new revenue stream: On average, nearly a third (31%) of businesses’ revenue is being generated by APIs or by API-related implementations.
“CIOs are uniquely positioned to lead their organization’s digital transformation. IT leaders across all industries must be focused on creating a new operating model that accelerates the speed of delivery, increases organizational agility and delivers innovation at scale,” said Simon Parmett, CEO, MuleSoft. “With an API-led approach, CIOs can change the clock speed of their business and emerge as the steward of a composable enterprise to democratize access to existing assets and new capabilities.”