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Illustration created by Martin Diaz Colodrero.
State of Application Assembly

Majority of Application Development Teams Rely More On SaaS Services vs. Building In-House

New survey reveals behaviors and usage patterns of application builders; authentication required in 83% of applications built

May 19, 2020

Illustration created by Martin Diaz Colodrero.

BELLEVUE, Wash. – May 19, 2020 – The Auth0 Identity Platform, a product unit within Okta, today released a 2020 State of Application Assembly survey, revealing that 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.

Surveying 426 global technical professionals across a variety of roles (developers, engineers, CTOs, directors of engineering, software architects) and company sizes, Auth0 determined that 51% of respondents are responsible for building two to five apps per year, and more than a quarter (28%) build 6-10+ apps per year, with three-quarters of these apps being used for external audiences. There are currently more than 4.1 million apps available on leading app stores (Statista), indicating the staggering amount of development these builders are responsible for.

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.

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.

“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, SVP of Marketing and Growth at Auth0. “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.

About Auth0

Auth0 by Okta takes a modern approach to customer identity and enables organizations to provide secure access to any application, for any user. Auth0 is a highly customizable platform that is as simple as development teams want, and as flexible as they need. Safeguarding billions of login transactions each month, Auth0 delivers convenience, privacy, and security so customers can focus on innovation. For more information, visit

Media Contacts

Jeana Tahnk
Auth0 Global Communications

Hannah Carroll
Matter for Auth0

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