Under increasing pressure to innovate faster, a majority (84%) of organizations taking part in a recent survey have already embraced microservices.
The survey, conducted by Vanson Bourne on behalf of API management platform provider Kong, polled 200 senior IT leaders in organizations with more than 1,000 employees. Among the results, 89% of technology leaders agree that companies that are not able to effectively support microservices will be less able to compete in the future.
The report also finds on average organizations are running 184 microservices, with 60% of respondents running 50 or more. The primary reasons cited for adopting microservices are improvements to security (56%), increased development speed (55%), increased speed of integrating new technologies (53%), improved infrastructure flexibility (53%) and improved collaboration across teams (46%).
Kong CTO Marco Palladino said the report makes it clear that just about every organization is on a journey to making a transition to microservices as part of an effort to reduce reliance on inflexible monolithic applications. Initially, that transition involves lifting and shifting monolithic applications in the cloud before decoupling functions using microservices, he said.
As part of that journey, Palladino noted, the survey also finds significant microservices challenges remain, including ensuring security (36%), integration with legacy applications (32%), the complexity of management (31%) and updating API documentation (31%).
Despite these concerns, however, more than 80% of survey respondents who have adopted microservices report that their organization performs well against metrics for development efficiency, the ability to use new platforms, collaboration across teams and sharing of services across applications.
Overall, a full 90% of respondents said securely connecting applications and ensuring performance at scale collectively represent one of the greatest technical challenges of the 21st century. Also, 71% said they believe that organizations would be out of business within six years if they fail to keep pace with innovation in their industry. For public companies, the urgency is even greater, with 39% reporting they believe organizations will be out of business in less than three years if they fail to keep pace with innovation. Overall, 57% of technology leaders feel organizations are concerned that they are at risk of competitive displacement.
Pressure on IT leaders is high as a result. Nearly three-quarters of respondents (74%) agree that a failed digital transformation effort will result in a missed promotion, lost bonus or even termination. The report identifies the top three priorities for IT leaders as improving efficiency (47%), reducing cost (41%) and increasing security (40%).
Technology leaders, however, continue to place the highest importance on the availability (75%), security (74%), performance (65%) and scalability (64%). At the same time, technology leaders are focused on faster development speeds (95%), increased collaboration (94%) and reduced deployment risks (93%) as key desired outcomes for adopting any new technologies.
The challenges most cited in terms of achieving those agility goals are the complexity of using multiple technologies (35%), lack of automation (32%) and reliance on legacy technologies (29%).
The survey also notes 83% of organizations are relying on open source software to become more agile. The most commonly used open source technologies are databases (64%), containers (48%), API gateways (41%), infrastructure automation (40%), container orchestration (37%) and continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) tools (36%).
In terms of cloud adoption, Microsoft Azure (43%) narrowly beat Amazon Web Services (AWS) (42%), with Google Cloud Platform (GCP) coming in third at 27%.
On the plus side, 78% of respondents said their organizations are increasing IT budgets in the coming year, with 27% of public companies expecting their budgets to grow 26% or more. Nearly 90% of companies will also be increasing headcount, with 56% hiring internally and 31% relying on more freelancers and/or outsourcing to meet hiring goals.
Hopefully, with that increased funding more organizations will be able to strike that elusive balance between stability and innovation.