Majority of application development teams relying more On SaaS Services than building in-house – Auth0

Use of SaaS app ‘building blocks’ are seeing increased use for certain functionalities, like payments, messaging and authentication. However, some organisations are choosing to pursue in-house solutions, incurring significant opportunity costs, the company fears

Posted 20 May 2020 by Gary Flood

Autho has just released a 2020 State of Application Assembly survey that reveals a majority of development teams are turning to “best-in-class SaaS services” and the adaptability of APIs for building unique features and functionalities into the many apps they are responsible for each year.

The firm, which describes itself as the Identity platform for application builders, talked to over 420 technical professionals across a variety of roles (developers, engineers, CTOs, directors of engineering, software architects) and company sizes across the world.

Its analysis suggests the majority (51%) of respondents are responsible for building two to five apps per year, and more than a quarter, 28%, build more like 6 to 10+ apps per year (with three-quarters of these apps being used for external audiences).

The survey explored application builder behavior around several services and key findings included:

  • For applications that required payment, 74% of respondents outsourced, with Stripe being the dominant tool of choice
  • For applications that required messaging, 71% outsourced this solution, with Twilio being the highly preferred tool
  • The third service explored was Authentication, cited as a requirement in 83% of applications built. However, the numbers for outsourcing authentication were lower than the other two services, with respondents outsourcing 58% of the time.

With a substantial percentage of companies still building authentication tools in-house – and because authentication is present in the majority of apps – there’s a large potential opportunity for application building teams to streamline their processes and improve efficiency by using a third-party IDaaS tool, claims the firm in its write-up of the results. 

The accelerated timelines that come with app launches are driving teams away from in-house development and towards microservices – app ‘building blocks’ – that provide features and functionality that would be nearly impossible to build and maintain themselves. Relying on third-party services that are adaptable to their specific needs, significantly frees the team’s resources to focus on core innovation and speed-to-market, it also posits.

“These results confirm a trend of application development teams increasingly relying on first- and third-party APIs and external SaaS services when assembling apps, to simultaneously decrease time-to-market and increase completeness and security,” said Martin Gontovnikas, VP of Marketing and Growth at the US-headquartered firm.

“Whether it’s payments, messaging, or authentication, this survey shows that teams are turning more to a ‘must-have SaaS stack’ to expedite development and enable them to focus on their core product.” 

The move to outsource services that are proven and fully adaptable gives application teams a competitive edge in innovation and implementation. By 2022, 90% of all apps will feature microservices architectures that improve the ability to design, debug, update, and leverage third-party code. Combined with agile/DevOps approaches and methodologies, enterprises can dramatically accelerate their ability to push out digital innovation, at 50-100x (or more) the frequency of traditional approaches (IDC).

Please visit the State of Application Assembly for further details and to view all survey results. 

Auth0 claims to be the first identity management platform for application builders, and the only identity solution needed for custom-built applications. Auth0 secures more than 100 million logins each day, giving enterprises the confidence to deliver trusted and elegant digital experiences to their customers around the world.