Written by: Karl Baumgarten, Co-Founder @ Wundergraph
As building API-based integrations is still very time-consuming, it is hard for IT execs to implement a sustainable integration strategy. WunderGraph presents a much more agile way to build integrations, based on GraphQL. This helps to release the enormous value that an integrated software ecosystem actually holds.
Fragmented software landscapes and lack of integration still remain to be huge challenges for most CTOs and IT Managers. As the pandemic hit and teams were dependent on working remotely, many started rolling out software on their own, without approval or involvement from IT.
The average number of SaaS apps used per company today is 137 (288 for large enterprises), and still growing by 30% each year. This explosion of apps results in a need for integrations that is growing disproportionately fast to the capacity of existing developers.
For software teams, this means overflowing backlogs, stressed out developers and integration projects that span multiple months. On the other side are business users, who expect great cross-application user experiences and put more and more pressure on the developers to deliver that. Simply put, API integrations are still costing businesses a lot of money and a lot of time.
This trend is likely to accelerate in the next decade (and probably for much longer than this).
For IT leaders, this means that now is the time to come up with a plan, choose the right tools and think of a good strategy to deal with the growing demand. In this article, we want to share our perspective on how this can be done and show the tremendous business value that can be realized as a result of automating API integrations with WunderGraph.
If you look at the unit economics of your integration strategy today, it is almost impossible to work off the integration backlog in time.
On average, building a single integration costs a developer 20-30 days in development time, or $10,337 considering the median developer salary in the US. This means that a full-time developer would spend almost a whole month building a single integration. In fact, most companies today are using almost half or their overall development capacity only to build integrations.
So you are rather looking at five full-time developers on a team of ten, instead of a single developer. That means developer capacity is a huge bottleneck in the process, which is why today's integration initiatives fail. Therefore, API-based integrations are still a hassle, and it takes very long to deliver actual business value.
But why is building an integration so time-consuming?
Well, there are a ton of steps that go into building one: First, select the right language and framework. Then, add your endpoints. Take care of authentication and authorization. Dealing with naming issues. Validating your schema and making sure everything is secure. Many of those steps are manual and repetitive, which inflates implementation time enormously.
The solution to this challenge is to either hire more developers, or to reduce the time and effort it takes to build an integration. Out of these options, number one is not a scalable (and sustainable) alternative. So let's take a look at how WunderGraph can help you realize number two.
Full disclosure: As we are the company behind WunderGraph, we are biased. Of course there are lots of other great products on the market that are aiming to solve this challenge, but none of them take automating API integrations as far as we do.
Of the 20-30 days it takes a developer to build an integration, a lot goes into repetitive and manual tasks, like mentioned above.
With WunderGraph, we abstract all these things away and get the time it takes to build the same integration down to 3-5 days. We do this by generating a single GraphQL API out of all your data sources and applications and allowing your Developers to automatically connect and join different APIs.
Imagine, all services, 3rd party APIs, systems and databases of your company are accessible through a single API, queryable using GraphQL, that's what we enable.
That means that your developers will be able to either build 4-10x more integrations in the same time or build the same amount of integrations and gain a total of 15-25 days developer time per month that can be spent doing other tasks. A single integration now costs you $1,654 on average, instead of $10,337.
The business value behind an integrated software ecosystem#
The true value however lies somewhere else. Sure, making developers' lives easier is always a good thing. Not only because their time is limited, and they are expensive.
But making integration development easier and cheaper is only the means to a much greater end:
Improving process efficiency and ultimately, time-to-market.
An integrated software ecosystem has the potential to make every single process that needs two or more applications to run much more efficient. So every process would be well integrated end-to-end, what would that mean for your business in terms of additional revenue?
We are certain that integrations will be a major priority for CTOs and IT leaders in the next years. And if you assume that, then time to production must be greatly reduced, because it is the only way to put this strategy into action. With WunderGraph, we want to contribute to this.
Do you agree or disagree with us? We would be happy to discuss your ideas on our Discord. Want to see what WunderGraph can do for your business? Let’s chat!