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APIs help with integration, but increase complexity, according to latest research

APIs are recognised by IT leaders for their advantages, but many also find that they increase their management burden.

That’s one of the findings of new research from Computing, which will be revealed in full during a webinar ‘APIs: why a slick UX can mean a headache for IT‘, to be broadcast at 3pm on 5th October.

Almost every business included in the research was using APIs at some level. Computing asked about the business use cases for adopting APIs, and found that the top two answers were ‘stimulate business and technical innovation’ and ‘extend customer reach and value’.

When IT leaders were asked for the main technical reasons behind adopting, or increasing their use of APIs, 60 per cent cited the ease of integration of backend data and applications, whilst 38 per cent said it was part of a move to cloud.

However when asked whether APIs have increased the complexity of the infrastructure they have to manage, almost half of respondents said it had, whilst 43 per cent said it hadn’t, with 10 per cent describing themselves as unsure.

Computing asked those people who had experienced more complexity for the reason behind their choice. Many had to do with the need to manage more interfaces. “More systems services to manage monitor,” said one respondent. Others complained about integration issues, particularly with legacy systems and cloud services: “Backwards compatibility with legacy systems, support for modern authentication, multiple clouds,” said another respondent. The need for new skills came up frequently too, as did the impact on the authentication and security of systems.

Register for the broadcast here.

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