2021 State of the API Report

Postman State Of The API Report Postmanauts researching ontop of graphs. Illustration.

The Pandemic, APIs, and the Future

Pandemic effects

We asked respondents to share whether the pandemic affected their work—either how their business operated or how they worked with others in their organization. Just short of two-thirds of respondents stated that the pandemic somewhat or significantly affected their work. Perhaps surprisingly, more than one-third stated that the pandemic did not affect their work. For many developers and API professionals, work continued just as it was—with many progressive organizations having already adopted a remote-friendly or remote-first approach to work.

Significantly impacted business: 27%
Somewhat impacted business: 36%
No impact: 37%

APIs support pandemic responses

To individuals who stated that the pandemic affected either their business operations or how they worked with others, we also posed the question, "Were your organization’s changes supported by APIs?" More than half said, "Yes."

APIs supported pandemic response: 51%
APIs did not support response: 49%

We went a step further and asked respondents how they continued to work through the pandemic. For many, APIs didn’t just support organizations’ pandemic responses, they played a key role in keeping the business operating:

  • Organizations adopted new channels or enhanced existing channels to reach and serve customers in a pandemic world. Respondents told us that common areas of investment included e-commerce, customer support via chat and text, and contactless digital systems—all of which relied on APIs.

  • Many respondents had to adjust to tectonic shifts in market demand, with some businesses completely pivoting their product offering. For many, product rollouts relied on APIs, and organizations pivoted in weeks and months what would normally take years. Some businesses were even born in the pandemic to meet new needs.

  • Working from home presented new challenges for many organizations, too. APIs and integrations with internal systems helped solve these challenges by automating or enabling tasks that used to happen in person such as communication, attendance, reporting, and project management.

  • Some of the most frequently cited innovations came from healthcare, with many healthcare organizations needing to digitize and automate workflows and relying on APIs to do so.

Pandemic changes to persist

Another question we posed to impacted individuals was, “Do you expect the changes to persist after the pandemic?” More than 8 out of 10 developers and API professionals stated that changes will persist in a post-pandemic world, with almost a quarter stating that all of the changes caused to their work by the pandemic will continue even when the world is back to normal.

All changes to persist: 24%
Some changes to persist: 62%
No changes to persist: 15%

Due to rounding, percentages may not add up to 100%.

Working from home after the pandemic

Many organizations embraced a remote-friendly or remote-first approach to work, and we found the majority of API developers worked from home during the pandemic. To get insights into the future of work for API professionals, we asked the question, “Do you expect to work from home every day and/or at least one or more days per week,” for the next 12 months. More than three-quarters of respondents said yes. We took the analysis a step further, and found generational differences—the older respondents were, the more likely they were to expect to work from home for the next year.

It’s worth noting that, as virtual approaches to collaboration improve and gain ever-greater popularity (see the “Collaboration on APIs” section, above), people will have the ability to continue to work from home—or whatever remote location they prefer—with full productivity.

Not sure
No
Yes

Due to rounding, percentages may not add up to 100%.

Investing in the future

Respondents strongly indicated that their organizations will continue investing in APIs as a key part of their business strategies. The vast majority of respondents, 94%, stated that investment of time and resources into APIs will increase or stay the same for the next 12 months. Only 7% felt that their organization would spend less time and resources on APIs.

More time and resources on APIs: 56%
Same time and resources on APIs: 38%
Less time and resources on APIs: 7%

Due to rounding, percentages may not add up to 100%.

APIs will continue to be a key investment as we scale our developer platform."

Daniel M., Developer relations