2022 NGINX State of App and API Delivery Report


2022 NGINX State of App and API Delivery Report

December is a natural time for reflection and introspection. As the year draws to a close, many organizations – including NGINX – are thinking about lessons learned over the past 12 months. Like us, you might be asking questions like:

  • What insights can our data provide?
  • What did we learn?
  • What will we do differently and where should we keep powering forward?

At NGINX, our retrospective includes analyzing the input and feedback that our community shares with us in our annual survey. In 2022, the survey both yielded surprises and confirmed trends we’d been picking up throughout the year. In this blog, we surface key insights and share the 2022 NGINX State of App and API Delivery Report.

2022 Insights

Insight #1: Security (still) isn’t everybody’s job…and that’s ok.

As is typical in most surveys, we asked respondents to select from a list of job roles so we can understand who is completing the survey and detect interesting trends. We then used “job role” as a filter for a question about the extent to which respondents are responsible for security in their organizations. A mere 15% of respondents overall say they have nothing to do with security, with the expected slight variations across job roles (for example, data scientists are less likely than Platform Ops engineers to deal with security).

However, it gets more interesting when we segmented by size of organization: 44% of employees at large enterprises said they have nothing to do with security. This may sound alarming, but it doesn’t indicate that security isn’t important at large enterprises. Instead, the data tells us that large enterprises are more likely to have dedicated security teams.

Insight #2: Hardware isn’t dead and hybrid cloud is here to stay.

Not that long ago it was predicted that organizations delivering modern apps would shift their investments from on‑premises hardware to cloud deployments. We observed the rise of microservices architectures and containerization technologies (including Kubernetes) reflected in our annual surveys, and like others, thought that someday this might result in the end of hardware.

But the growing usage of clouds and modern app technologies only tells part of the story. Our 2022 survey data reinforces what we’re hearing from customers: most organizations use hybrid architectures. In fact, respondents indicated the usage of both on‑premises hardware and public cloud increases in parallel with their workload size. The reason behind this trend is simple: cloud can be expensive and hard to secure. When an app doesn’t need the flexibility and agility offered by a cloud architecture, then it makes sense to choose a traditional architecture located on premises where it’s generally easier to secure.

Insight #3: System Administrators are not an endangered species.

The title System Administrator – or SysAdmin – is often associated with hardware, and there have been murmurs for years that the role was becoming obsolete. Given that hardware isn’t going away, it’s logical to think that SysAdmin jobs are also “safe”, but the survey data tells us an even more interesting and reassuring story. Of the 562 people who said they do SysAdmin work:

  • 57% also claimed a Development team role
  • 43% also claimed a Platform Operations role
  • 38% also claimed a Leadership role
  • 31% also claimed a SecOps role
  • 17% also claimed a Data Science role

So what does this mean? When we add a filter by company size, we discover respondents from small companies (under 50 employees) are more likely to hold a SysAdmin role and unsurprisingly, are responsible for multiple job functions. Our conclusion is that if you’re a SysAdmin looking to broaden your skill set for modern app development, a startup is a great place to leverage what you already know and potentially transition towards a new career. #StartupLife

Insight #4: Organizational constraints are more prevalent than tool/technology limitations.

Each year we seek to learn about the barriers facing people working on app and API delivery projects. This year uncovered a list of problems that can be divided into two categories: work challenges and tool challenges.

While 17% reported they aren’t facing any challenges (great news!), the remaining 83% are encountering problems. The most common challenge is a lack of technical skills, and within that group, many told us they’re also facing a steep learning curve for tools along with a lack of staffing or resources. These work challenges typically relate to an organization’s practices around skills development, processes, and tool sprawl.

2022 NGINX State of App and API Delivery Report

The four insights we’ve shared are just a few of the many you shared with us in your survey responses. Check out the full report:

Thank You!

A huge thank you to everyone who participated in our survey!

Did you miss the survey or have more feedback? We still want to hear from you! DM us on social media (we’re on Twitter and LinkedIn) or join NGINX Community Slack.

You can view the findings from our 2021 survey at Lessons from the 2021 NGINX Survey: Your Kubernetes Adoption Journey.