MuleSoft: Integration challenges hit digital transformation
MuleSoft, a Salesforce company and provider of a leading integration and API platform, has released its 2021 Connectivity Benchmark Report which highlights that integration challenges continue to be a major roadblock for digital transformation initiatives.
The report says IT teams are spending more than a third of their time on integration projects, and custom integrations are costing large enterprises on average US$3.5 million each in annual labour.
As digital initiatives accelerate, integration has emerged as a critical factor in determining the success and speed of digital transformation.
“Organisations across industries have experienced a rapid shift toward interacting with customers and employees through digital channels,” said Brent Hayward, CEO, MuleSoft.
“Although most organisations are prioritising digital initiatives, such as launching an e-commerce platform or increasing worker productivity, the research shows that data silos continue to hinder their capabilities to deliver on these key initiatives. Companies that empower their IT and business teams to easily integrate apps and data will be able to unlock the full capacity within their organisation to drive innovation at scale and gain competitive edge.”
Challenges and opportunities for businesses
Based on a global survey of 800 CIOs and IT decision makers, the 2021 Connectivity Benchmark Report highlights new challenges and opportunities for businesses as they navigate a digital-first world.
The last 12 months have seen a profound shift in the way people work and how organisations operate. Employees and customers alike want seamless digital experiences and expect organizations to deliver on these experiences, faster.
Key findings include:
- New initiatives to enable success from anywhere Organisations relied on IT to support a shift to remote working and the need for increased productivity and efficiency. Migrating apps to the cloud (51%), enabling remote working (48%) and automating business processes (47%) were cited as the key initiatives that organisations are focusing on for 2021.
- When demand surpasses supply Organisations asked IT to deliver on average 30 per cent more projects this year (315 in 2021 compared to 242 in 2020). Only 37% of respondents say they were able to deliver all IT projects last year (compared to 41% the previous year).
- Go digital or get left behind More than three-quarters of organisations say a failure to complete digital transformation initiatives will impact revenues over the next year.
Data silos remain a challenge for 90% of organisations, which is unchanged since last year, and around the same number say integration challenges are a blocker to delivering on digital transformation. Integration will continue to be a major area of focus as organisations seek to get more value from their apps and data.
- So many applications, so little integration On average, organizations use 843 individual applications. However, only 29% of these applications are integrated.
- Connected customer experiences remain a challenge to achieve Only 18% of organisations integrate end-user experiences across all channels, with almost half stating they have found it difficult.
- Data-related roles have the biggest integration needs Outside of IT, data science (47%), business analyst (42%) and finance (42%) are the roles with the biggest integration needs.
- Enabling all business users Four in five organizations recognise the need to make data and integration accessible to business users to increase productivity, deliver connected experiences and drive innovation.
Microsoft: Building a secure foundation to drive NASCAR
Microsoft is a key partner of The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) and together they are driving ahead to create an inclusive and immersive new fan experience (FX).
These long-term partners have not only navigated the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic with the use of Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365, but are now looking to a future packed with virtual events to enhance the FX, well beyond NASCAR’S famous Daytona racetrack.
“Together, we've created a secure environment that's allowed for collaboration, but the future is all about the fans”, said Melinda Cook, General Manager for Microsoft South USA Commercial Business, who cited a culture of transparency, passion, adaptiveness, and a growth mindset as to why this alignment is so successful.”
“We've partnered to create a fluid, immersive experience for the users that is supported by a secure foundation with Microsoft in the background. We are focused on empowering and enabling customers and businesses, like NASCAR, to reach their full potential. We do this with our cloud platform which provides data insights and security.”
“Our cloud environment allows NASCAR to move forward with their digital transformation journey while we are in the background,” said Cook who highlights that Microsoft is helping NASCAR
- Empower employees productivity and collaboration
- Improve fan engagement and experience
- Improve environment security and IT productivity
- Improve racing operations
Microsoft Teams, which is part of the Microsoft 365 suite, enabled employees to work remotely, while staying productive, during the pandemic. “This allowed people to provide the same level of productivity with the use of video conference and instant messaging to collaborate on documents. Increased automation also allows the pit crews, IT, and the business to focus on safety, racing operations, and on the fan experience,” said Cook.
“We have started to innovate to create a more inclusive fanbase, this includes using Xbox to give people the experience of being a virtual racer or even leveraging some of the tools in Microsoft Teams to have a virtual ride along experience.”
“These environments are how we create a more inclusive and immersive experience for the fans. We're working on a virtual fan wall which allows people from new locations to participate in these events,” said Cook, who pointed out Microsoft was also helping bring legacy experiences alive from NASCAR’s archives.
“At Microsoft we can take it one level further by letting fans know what it's like to see the pit crew experience, the data and all the behind-the-scenes action. We will continue to improve automation with machine learning and artificial intelligence, from marketing to IT operations to finance to racing operations,” said Cook.
Christine Stoffel-Moffett, Vice President of Enterprise Technology at NASCAR, said: “Microsoft is one of our key partners. They have been instrumental in helping the NASCAR enterprise technology team re-architect our Microsoft systems to ensure an advanced level of security across our environment, contribute to our business outcomes, and focus on fan experience.”