In the study titled “APIs and the Digital Enterprise: From Operational Efficiency to Digital Disruption,” respondents in APJ reported using APIs to build mobile and web-based applications (77 percent and 78 percent respectively), integrate back-office systems (78 percent), enable third-party developers and incorporate third-party services (73 percent each). China and India respondents in particular indicated the highest use of APIs (above 80 percent) across all categories.
The study also showed that the major drivers of API programs are business-related, not technical, as APJ respondents cited new and improved customer experiences (84 percent), faster delivery of new apps (84 percent) and lower IT-related costs and risks (86 percent) as the top current and future drivers for using APIs.
“Organizations in APJ have recognized the importance of APIs as the foundation of today’s application economy, where software is at the center of every business. Now, the next step is not only to have APIs, but to ensure that they are implemented and managed well, with the right strategies in place,” said Vic Mankotia, vice president, Security & API Management, Asia Pacific & Japan, CA Technologies. “As the leader in API management, CA helps customers maximize the use of APIs by providing them with a secure, developer-friendly environment that can address large scale mobile and Internet of Things (IoT) initiatives.”
Room to improve
However, many companies stumbled in building the business case to decision makers: In APJ, fewer than 3 in 10 respondents have been able to educate senior budget holders and secure funds, or even define the value of APIs in business terms. Fully developing and instituting a strategic API program is hence still a work in progress for many organizations. The survey showed that while a majority agree on which strategies are the most important for success with APIs, few have implemented these measures.
For example, 88 percent of firms in APJ agree on the importance of having the right infrastructure in place, but only 33 percent have completed this; 89 percent agree that finding the right suppliers is crucial, but only a quarter of businesses indicated that they have achieved this; 84 percent agree that they need to recruit a critical mass of developers and define a developer community support program, but only 23 and 31 percent of firms, respectively, have implemented these strategies.
Firms could stand to be less hesitant in growing their API capabilities. Results from the study found that increased investment in APIs yielded significant benefits across the entire spectrum, from increasing operational efficiency and competitive advantage, to digital disruption.
“One of the most striking findings from this research is the strong correlation between the level of API-enabling capability and the benefits achieved from API-related investments,” said Tony Lock, an analyst at Freeform Dynamics, the IT industry analyst firm that conducted the study. “On average, advanced adopters are two to three times more likely to be citing significant benefits than their peers at the other extreme with limited capability.”
In APJ, API programs are paying off handsomely for those who get them right:
- 77 percent of respondents have been able to deliver improved customer experiences
- 76 percent have experienced faster delivery of revenue-enhancing applications
- 75 percent have been able to lower IT-related costs and risks
- 74 percent have been able to expand their digital reach
- 73 percent have been able to monetize their data
Organizations stand a lot to gain from building and supporting their API programs. As APIs become more widespread, simply having the basics in place will no longer be enough – to thrive, enterprises will have to fully secure, manage and maximize API capabilities for continued success in the application economy.
The global online survey of 1,442 senior IT and business executives was sponsored by CA Technologies and conducted by industry analyst firm Freeform Dynamics in July 2015. It was augmented by in-depth telephone interviews with key industry executives. For full survey methodology details, see the report “APIs and the Digital Enterprise: From Operational Efficiency to Digital Disruption.”
About Freeform Dynamics
Freeform Dynamics is an IT industry analyst firm. Through our research and insights, we aim to help busy IT and business professionals get up to speed on the latest technology developments, and make better-informed investment decisions. For more information, and access to our library of free research, please visit www.freeformdynamics.com.