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IT Leaders Expect API Use and Adoption to Increase

By Elizabeth Fricke

API usage and adoption has increased and is expected to expand over the next year, according to a new survey by Kyriba and Gartner Peer Insights. The survey results indicate a clear trend of API use cases such as the quick transfer of data and the seamless integration of disparate systems.

Expanded API Use Predicted

To measure how organizations are leveraging API integrations for better IT efficiency, Kyriba and Gartner Peer Insights conducted a global survey of 200 IT and engineering leaders. Respondents answered questions about their organizations’ API portfolios, including trends, challenges and use cases.

Investigating the current and future trends for API initiatives, the survey revealed a clear movement toward expansion. Fully 90% of IT leaders said that API development and adoption has grown over the past 12 months. Looking to increase productivity, 75% of IT leaders revealed that their organizations plan to expand development and adoption of APIs over the next year.

IT leaders anticipate increased developer productivity (69%) as the top perceived impact APIs could have on improving IT capabilities. Other significant impacts include digitized workflows (64%), reduced costs for system integration (60%) and real-time connectivity between systems (52%).

Internal API Use Cases

Looking at business use cases for developing their own APIs, connecting with internal systems ranked number one among IT leaders. Respondents ranked connecting to external platforms second and replacing legacy connectivity third. Automating workflows, facilitating data exchange in real-time and developing offerings to build apps for the Kyriba platform placed in the bottom three.

Clearly, IT leaders understand that APIs can unify a company’s systems and provide finance leaders with centralized visibility across many departments. Open API platforms allow for real-time connections to apps, data, products and services, creating critical links between diverse teams and systems.

External API Use Cases

When it comes to adopting external APIs, IT leaders find that connecting to ERPs is the most important use case, while connecting to banks ranks second. These findings are consistent with another recent Gartner survey that queried IT professionals on bank and enterprise connectivity, which found that 88% of IT leaders identified connecting banks to ERPs as one of their most complex tasks. Not surprisingly, these data show IT leaders look to clear, connective, quick and leading technology to simplify access to the critical banking information necessary for successful tactical and strategic decision-making in treasury and finance.

IT leaders ranked other use cases as follows: integrating other systems onto existing platforms, fetching data from external systems and developing apps for other platforms.

Further, the survey showed that most organizations (56%) are working with 6-10 banks to connect to their APIs. Again, these findings are in line with the recent bank and enterprise connectivity survey, which highlighted that it can take anywhere from one to four months for businesses to connect with banks. That’s a long lead time, especially when multiplied by many banks, each needing a connection. An effective solution is using a trusted aggregator to significantly shorten the timeline it takes to get up and running.

Future API Use Cases

Looking to the future, IT leaders cite retiring legacy integrations (70%) and migrating to the cloud (54%) as the top future API use cases in their organizations. Recognizing that legacy systems are outdated and unscalable, IT leaders aim to implement cloud-based solutions to improve IT processes and ensure platforms are secure and up to date, while reducing operational costs. For treasury and finance teams, cloud-based liquidity platforms offer real-time visibility and data-driven decision-making.

Lacking Internal Developers, IT Leaders Look Externally

While the survey reveals a clear trend of API expansion, a lack of internal developers is a major challenge. Three quarters of respondents cited not enough internal developers as the main challenge of API adoption and development. This finding is echoed by another Kyriba/Gartner Peer Insights study that questioned IT decision makers about technology priorities; the study highlights a shortage of skilled talent as the biggest challenge IT departments face. Exacerbating the problem are treasury and finance teams also being understaffed and needing technology and automation to expand efficiencies and perform strategic work.

One solution to this shortage of internal developer resources is to fill the gap using technology partners. Not surprisingly, most API survey respondents (72%) are already doing so by working closely with third-party tech vendors in order to increase the time-to-value of their IT investment.

API Development and Adoption Key to Successful IT Strategy

IT decision-makers look to APIs as important tech assets in preparing their IT strategy, vendor selection and system sourcing. The survey highlights a clear trend towards increased API development and adoption. While a scarcity of internal developers remains a challenge, tapping into the people and expertise provided by external technology partners can lead to cost-efficiency, time-to-market and speed of innovation.

To find out more about the details of the survey results, check out the infographic here: APIs: Enterprise Maturity and Use Cases infographic.

Kyriba recently launched a full portfolio of real-time bank connectors and ERP connectors to support our clients on their journey towards the future of instant treasury. Find out more details from Kyriba Marketplace.