IT Leaders Turn to APIs, SaaS to Drive Business

The vast majority (86 percent) of respondents say they’re under "moderate" to "extreme" pressure to deliver IT services faster than last year.  

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Nearly 75 percent of organizations have an application programming interface (API) strategy, and more than 50 percent say they are generating revenue through an API or will be within a year, according to a MuleSoft survey of 300 IT decision makers.

The vast majority (86 percent) of IT respondents say they’re under “moderate” to “extreme” pressure to deliver services faster than last year.

A quarter of respondents cited software as a service (SaaS) as their top integration priority, followed by API development for self-serve IT (14 percent) and business intelligence/machine data analytics (12 percent).

"Although we’ve seen cloud in the enterprise start to mature and adoption of mobile and social technologies increase, companies now have exponentially more endpoints to connect," Ross Mason, founder of MuleSoft, told eWEEK. "Enterprise customers have the luxury, and the challenges, of being able to pick and choose, and then subscribe to best-of-breed point solutions for CRM, ERP, marketing automation, talent management, expense management and many more."

Mason noted with all the options, the pain of integrating all different types of SaaS and mobile applications becomes amplified.

"Once a company starts connecting its marketing automation software to its CRM system to its HR application to its payroll system, things get complicated quickly," he explained. "The number of integration points multiplies the more applications you need to connect."

A third of financial services organizations and 50 percent of media and telecom organizations that are deriving revenue from APIs make more than $10 million through this channel, and 70 percent of organizations are integrating at least 20 applications.

Of those companies with revenue exceeding $10 billion, more than half (58 percent) are integrating 100 or more applications.

More than three quarters (77 percent) of respondents say they already have an Internet of Things (IoT) strategy, and approximately 75 percent of respondents rank the IoT as “very important” or “important” to their business plans over the next 12 months.

In addition, respondents indicated that the main driver of their IoT strategy is to improve customer experience and engagement (41 percent) and improve business operations and maintenance (38 percent).

Seventy percent of respondents say their organizations are either currently integrating wearables or plan to do so in the next 12 months.

The survey also revealed that two-thirds of IT decision makers say micro services-- a software architecture style where complex applications are composed of small, independent processes communicating with each other using language-agnostic APIs--will be “important” or “very important” to their business strategy in the next 12 months.

The majority of respondents (60 percent) are increasing their investment in iOS and Android more than any other development platform, including Linux, Windows/.NET and AWS. Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of enterprises with 10,000 employees or more, are investing more in mobile this year than previously.