The vast majority of organizations today either currently use application program interfaces (APIs) or expect to in the future, according to a recent survey from CA Technologies. The report, “APIs: Building a Connected Business in the App Economy,” reveals that such efforts help distinguish companies’ products and services from their competitors’ and can extend digital reach while reducing IT costs. Simply defined, APIs establish procedures, protocols and tools for building software applications to determine how software components should interact. The report distinguishes organizations as being either “advanced” at API management or “basic.” Advanced organizations are more likely to create APIs in order to safely expose data; integrate APIs with back-end data and legacies; protect the integration with the right levels of security; and derive value from these efforts through analytics and monetization. To reach an advanced state of API deployment, IT teams must overcome obstacles such as a lack of skilled resources, time constraints, and difficulties in scaling usage and managing performance. “Connected devices now number in the tens of billions, and their use is still growing fast,” according to the report. “It is impossible to reach them in a safe, simplified and scalable manner without the abstraction layer that APIs provide. That’s why APIs are the building blocks of digital transformation. APIs cut the development cost of innovation and market entry. They allow organizations to deliver exceptional customer experiences; create new revenue streams; and connect employees, partners, apps and devices to the data they require—anytime, anywhere.” An estimated 1,770 global senior business and IT executives took part in the research, which was conducted by Coleman Parkes Research.