Are You Getting the Most Value from Your APIs?
May 15, 2017

APIs are vital components for business success and thriving in the application economy, according to a global study conducted by CA Technologies.

88 percent of surveyed organizations are using APIs, and those organizations reporting the greatest success with APIs are advanced in how they manage the full API life cycle (51 percent). This group of advanced organizations are seeing advantages in digital reach, time-to-market with new apps, transaction volumes and better customer experiences.

The study, APIs: Building a Connected Business in the App Economy, examines responses from 1,770 senior business and IT executives about how they are using APIs and the business impact their API programs are having. The study includes an API management maturity model to assess where organizations are in their management of the APIs – advanced, basic or limited/none.

Those respondents with advanced full life cycle API management demonstrate at least 80 percent of these capabilities: connect legacy and current systems; rapidly create APIs in order to safely expose data; integrate with back-end data and legacy apps; protect integrations with the right levels of security; accelerate mobile development; and unlock the value of the resulting digital ecosystems through analytics and monetization.

Those that met the advanced criteria (51 percent), report improved business results compared to the 37 percent of surveyed organizations with basic API management (10 percent report limited and two percent report no API management):

■ 47 percent improvement in both customer and partner satisfaction, compared to 32 percent and 34 percent for basic

■ 45 percent increase in transaction volumes, compared to 32 percent for basic

■ 45 percent reduction in IT-related costs, compared to 32 percent for basic

■ 83 percent of advanced users felt APIs helped them drive competitive differentiation vs. 47 percent of basic users

Advanced full life cycle API management users also reported improvement over basic users in key qualitative business metrics such as customer experience (89 percent vs. 70 percent), leverage of third-party developer innovation (83 percent vs. 68 percent) and digital reach (85 percent vs. 68 percent).

"When the competitive differentiation is almost doubled with advanced use, it becomes clear that going the extra mile and investing in advanced capabilities throughout the full API life cycle results in the greatest value and success," said Rahim Bhatia, GM, Developer Products and API Management, CA Technologies. "APIs continue to be important connection and communication points for modernizing IT architectures and driving business growth the application economy.”

Organizations Go Beyond Internal Metrics to Measure API Effectiveness

“APIs are increasingly crucial to application strategies and effective modern application governance. However, most future API use will come from digital business applications and smart objects (as in the IoT), and APIs will be firmly tied to business scenarios,” according to the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Full Life Cycle API Management.

The study showed that organizations recognize the impact APIs have on the business. More than 70 percent of respondents are using external indicators to determine the effectiveness of their API programs, including metrics on crucial commercial categories such as:

■ Customer experience

■ Digital reach

■ Time-to-market for new apps

■ Transaction volumes

In addition, a third of respondents are using APIs to drive revenue (33 percent) or consume third-party APIs for innovation and speed-to-market (34 percent).

Methodology: Conducted by Coleman Parkes Research Ltd. in May-June, 2016 and commissioned by CA Technologies, the survey included 1,770 senior business and IT executives from large enterprises, across 21 countries and 10 industry sectors. Coleman Parkes, formed in 2000, provides action-focused marketing research on a global scale. The company offers a full research and consultancy service across all markets, while specializing in business-to-business research with a focus on IT, technology and communications research.

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