Combining API management with microservices offers competitive advantage

Examining the state of APIs, microservices, and integration, uncovering trends in adoption.

IT leaders believe it would be beneficial to combine the utilisation of APIs, microservices, and integration, although only one per cent said that they do so already.

In a recently released survey conducted by Vanson Bourne for Software AG, the survey of 950 global IT leaders examined the state of APIs, microservices, and integration, uncovering trends in adoption.

For modern organisations, having a highly connected IT environment is essential.

The need for fast and efficient integration — between different systems, applications, departments, and individuals — in enterprise organisations has never been greater, according to 92 per cent of survey respondents. This need will only continue to grow, especially considering IDC’s prediction that more than 500 million digital apps and services will be developed and deployed using cloud-native approaches by 2023.

IT Leaders Agree on the Benefits of APIs, Microservices, and Integration

The overwhelming majority of IT leaders surveyed by Software AG recognize the benefits of APIs, microservices, and integration solutions — and have already implemented them within their organisations, specifically:


  • 98 per cent of respondents believe that APIs are or would be extremely or very important to their organisations’ operations
  • More than eight of 10 (86 per cent) IT leaders believe their organisations would be working in silos without the use of APIs
  • Nearly as many (79 per cent) said they utilise APIs for digital transformation projects


  • Most (81 per cent) IT leaders currently utilise microservices within their organisation to some extent and almost a fifth (18 per cent) don’t use microservices currently but plan to in the future
  • 95 per cent believe that microservices are or would be extremely or very important to their organisations’ operations
  • More than half (54 per cent) plan to implement the use of microservices within the next year


  • Integration solutions are now commonplace in organisations, with 99 per cent using one
  • Organisations are most likely to be running some form of hybrid integration solution, both on premises and in the cloud (64 per cent), versus cloud-only (23 per cent) and on premises only (12 per cent)

Almost all of the (99.9 per cent) respondents identify at least one benefit experienced in their organisation as a result of using integration apps or systems, with the top three reported as: improved productivity/time savings (54 per cent); greater visibility across the organisation (47 per cent); and the ability to manage information better (47 per cent)

Challenges Persist, Limiting Further Success

Despite widespread adoption, barriers remain that limit APIs, microservices, and integration systems from being maximized. Notably, concerns around lacking the needed skillset exists across all areas. The top three challenges faced when utilizing APIs include: ensuring API security (48 per cent); limited staff skill set to utilize APIs (41 per cent); and risk to scalability and quality of service (40 per cent).

When it comes to microservices, the following pitfalls were noted:

  • Limited budget to invest in this (48 per cent)
  • Limited staff skill set to utilise microservices (47 per cent)
  • Difficult to manage the entire IT environment (45 per cent)
  • Complexity (45 per cent)
  • Integration of different apps/services is more difficult (45 per cent)

Finally, the top challenge when utilizing integration applications and systems relates to ensuring security from external threats (47 per cent). Internal organisational barriers such as limited budget (40 per cent), staff skillset (40 per cent) and resistance to change (40 per cent) also come into play.

The Opportunity for a Holistic Approach

As integration demands continue to grow and organisations seek more-sophisticated solutions, looking at APIs, microservices, and integration solutions as separate parts is no longer enough. The future for organisations is a bundled solution that incorporates all of these together.

Most IT leaders (97 per cent) believe this approach offers benefits, which could include:

  • Boosted productivity and time savings (51 per cent)
  • Higher customer satisfaction (49 per cent)
  • The ability to gain better customer insights (49 per cent)
  • Faster time to market (45 per cent)
  • Long-term cost savings (44 per cent)

A vast majority (93 per cent) of respondents also believe that organisations that can integrate API management with their use of microservices will have a distinct advantage over their competitors.




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