(Image credit/pexels/pixabay)MuleSoft has announced the findings of The State of Business and IT Innovation report. The company commissioned the global survey of 1,739 line of business (LoB) employees in organisations with at least 250 employees. The research revealed 37% of organisations have the skills and technology to keep pace with digital projects during COVID-19 pandemic.

Eighty-two percent believe they easy access to data, IT systems, and applications to do their jobs effectively and remain productive. Access to data is critical as more than half (59%) of LoB employees are involved in identifying, suggesting, or creating new ways to improve the delivery of digital services externally. This includes building an online self-service portal or a customer-facing mobile application. Yet 29% think their organisation is very effective in connecting and using data from multiple sources to drive business value.

(Image credit/LinkedIn/Brent Hayward)
Brent Hayward, CEO, MuleSoft

According to Brent Hayward, CEO, MuleSoft, “Every industry faces immediate change. Every organisation needs to respond to the needs of its customers faster than ever before in a digital-first world.”

“This research shows data is one of the most critical assets that businesses need to move fast and thrive into the future. Organisations need to empower every employee to unlock and integrate data — no matter where it resides. To deliver critical, time-sensitive projects and innovation at scale, while making products and services more connected than ever.”

The State of Business and IT Innovation report highlights the challenges and opportunities businesses need to address to digitally transform:

Data silos slow down digital initiatives

According to McKinsey, businesses that once mapped digital strategy in one-to-three-year phases must now scale initiatives in days or weeks. This report also sheds light on the COVID-19 pandemic leading to an increase in digital initiatives by an average 11-23%. It highlights what is hampering the pace of business and the ability to meet customer expectations:

  • Data silos: 33% of LoBs employees say the COVID-19 pandemic has revealed a lack of connectivity between existing IT systems, applications, and data as an inefficiency when it comes to digital delivery.
  • A lack of digital skills: 29% LoB employees say a lack of digital skills across the business is also an inefficiency when delivering digital projects.
  • Already stretched IT teams can’t deliver projects quickly enough: 51% of LoB employees are currently frustrated by the speed at which their IT team can deliver digital projects.

Integration challenges

54% of LoB respondents are frustrated by the challenge of connecting different systems, applications, and data at their organisation. Many view this weakness as a threat to their business and the ability to provide connected customer experiences.

  • Siloed systems and data slow down business growth: LoB employees are well aware of the repercussions of failing to connect systems, applications, and data. More than half (59%) agree that failure in this area will hinder business growth and revenue.
  • Behind disconnected experiences are disconnected systems, applications, and data: The majority (59%) of LoB employees agree that an inability to connect systems, applications, and data will negatively impact customer experience. A fundamental prerequisite for business success today.
  • Automation initiatives require integration: Three in five (60%) respondents admit that failure to connect systems, applications, and data will also hinder automation initiatives. This comes at a time when a growing number of organisations are looking to automate business processes via capabilities. This includes such robotic process automation (RPA).

Unlocking data to go digital, faster

As demands for digital initiatives grow, organisations across industries need to move faster than ever before. Businesses are frustrated by data silos, slowing their ability to meet customer demand and innovate in today’s all-digital, work-from-anywhere world. The report highlights the need to democratise these capabilities. By giving business users the tools they need to easily and quickly unlock data, connect applications, and automate processes.

  • Organisations need to scale innovation beyond the four walls of IT: 58% of LoB employees think IT leaders are spending more time “keeping the lights on” rather than supporting innovation. Furthermore, 44% go as far as to say they think their organisation’s IT department is a blocker on innovation. By using a self-serve model that empowers everyone to unlock data, IT can enable innovation everywhere. IT can be freed up from tactical integrations and maintenance to focus more on innovating and delivering high impact projects.
  • Partnership with IT will be key to driving innovation: 68% of respondents think that IT and LoB employees should come together to jointly drive innovation in their organisation.
  • LoB employees need easy access to data to go faster: 80% of respondents think it would be beneficial, if data and IT capabilities were discoverable and pre-packaged building blocks. This will allow LoB employees to start creating digital solutions and deliver digital projects for themselves.

MuleSoft partnered with Censuswide, surveyed 1,739 users regarding their thoughts and involvement in digital initiatives and innovation at their organisations. An online survey conducted in September 2020 across the US, UK, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Japan.

Enterprise Times: What this means to business

This Mulesoft research is interesting. While most users are involved in identifying, suggesting, and creating new ways to improve the delivery of digital services. This study reveals that the majority of businesses are frustrated with the speed of IT delivery of digital projects. Despite being ready to drive innovation, business users want to be empowered to unlock data and go faster. Many believe they need quick and easy access to business data to be effective. Working with IT is important as users say they play a collaborative role in driving digital innovation.

However, organisations need to embrace a new operating model, where IT becomes an enabler of innovation. Businesses are increasingly turning to APIs that are available via ‘clicks, not code’. As a result, organisations can begin to provide their employees with easy-to-use, self-service tools that will help deliver business solutions and achieve their goals faster and more efficiently. By using this self-service model, organisations can enable innovation everywhere, in a way that’s governed but not gated by IT


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