Survey: CA’s Layer 7 Finds 85% of Enterprises To Adopt APIs by 2016; Partner Connectivity, Mobile, Cloud Are Top Drivers
An eye-popping survey is the latest sign that enterprise IT continues to embrace APIs for business-critical integration projects. Layer 7 Technologies, a CA Technologies company, released results from research that found an astounding 85% of enterprises will have an API program within three years. IDN talks with CA’s senior vice president Dimitri Sirota.
vice president, security
“Enterprises are increasingly recognizing APIs as a cornerstone of the modern open hybrid enterprise.”
An eye-popping survey is the latest sign that enterprise IT continues to embrace APIs for business-critical integration projects. Layer 7 Technologies, a CA Technologies company, released results from research that found an astounding 85% of enterprises will have an API program by 2016 -- within three years.
“Enterprises are increasingly recognizing APIs as a cornerstone of the modern open hybrid enterprise,” said Dimitri Sirota, senior vice president, Security, CA Technologies and co-founder of Layer 7. “Our survey found that APIs are here to stay, and are becoming more and more ubiquitous.”
Sirota added one other sign that APIs are quickly becoming mainstream. “We found APIs are not really an emerging technology anymore, they are just the latest way for enterprise IT to reach [outside their] the DMZ to reach partners, and also to integrate for cloud and mobile,” he told IDN.
In specific, the Layer 7 survey found nearly half of respondents (43%) said their organizations already have formal API programs in place. An additional, 27% said they expect to launch API programs in the next year.
Notably, the CA/Layer 7 survey also asked respondents what is motivating such a huge upsurge in API adoption. “We found a broad range of use cases. Mobility is a core use case, but we also saw interest in APIs for cloud and more. APIs are not just about architecture. We heard that the ability for APIs to meet an enterprise’s business goals is the key” Sirota said.
Among the summary findings, these use cases topped the list:
- Mobility programs (71.9%)
- Partner connectivity (69.1%)
- Cloud integration (67.6%)
- Enabling internal developers (66.9%
- Fostering external developer ecosystems (55.4%)
For all the broad adoption of APIs, IT professionals also need to think about how using APIs will impact the management and security of exposing resources or doing integration, Sirota added.
“For an organization to be successful, it must have a strategy to deploy and manage the APIs that will enable it to secure and leverage data, empower a mobilized workforce and engage with the developers driving the app economy,” he said.
Nowhere is this more important than to have an enterprise-grade security threat protection plan in place, such as to guard against user authentication, data privacy and to protect against denial-of-service (DoS) attacks, Sirota added.
Half of those polled said data security and privacy were their biggest security considerations, he added.
“We’ve invested a lot in this management area, and we do a lot of training to help IT get educated about the best use and proper management of APIs. We’re finding there is no lack of appetite to get educated on APIs,” Sirota said.
One architectural factor fueling this ever-quickening and wide adoption of APIs is how companies have built upon traditions similar to SOA and service interface techniques, Sirota noted. “At a high level, SOA and API are no different. What they share is the ability to expose applications, data and operations programmatically,” he said.” In fact, the basic technique is familiar to most architects and integration professionals.
He explained that from this perspective, APIs in one sense are not all that new. “Large enterprise software forms, such as SAP, used APIs years ago, but just in a proprietary means,” he said.
With SOA, the interfaces become more standardized, but protocols remained too unwieldy for true communication across the DMZ or out to the Internet to mobile or cloud resources. Further innovations from the likes of Twitter and FaceBook, revealed how APIs could use lighter-weight protocols and more easily support Internet communications that would optimize APIs for cloud and mobile apps.
“This latest evolution is what is really new, and is bringing all sorts of new business values to APIs,” Sirota told IDN.
An infographic highlighting the survey findings is available here.