MuleSoft: Integration challenges hit digital transformation

By Kate Birch
Study by MuleSoft, a Salesforce company, says integration challenges threaten digital transformation, with data silos affecting 90% of organisations...

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.

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