Salesforce (credit image/Pixabay/Gerd Altmann)New research from Salesforce suggests 85% of IT leaders expect AI to increase developer productivity at their organisations over the next three years. Salesforce says this is a welcome relief as they simultaneously reported a 39% increase in IT requests in the last year alone. However, 62% also say their organisation isn’t yet equipped to harmonise data systems to fully leverage AI. These respondents say this is impeding the transition and further heightening the strain on their teams.

Adding to these concerns, 98% of IT organisations report experiencing some degree of challenge with their digital transformation efforts. 80% cite data silos as a concern and 72% grapple with systems that are overly dependent on one another. MuleSoft’s annual Connectivity Benchmark Report surveyed 1,050 CIOs and IT decision-makers around the world. The research seeks to understand challenges and how organisations can use integration, automation, and APIs to build successful AI strategies. Successful AI strategies rely heavily on strong data integration strategies in order to reap the benefits of improving operational efficiency, productivity, and employee and customer experiences.

AI is the bellwether: IT leaders expect a 69% increase in the average number of Large Language Models (LLMs) they’ll use over the next three years, with 80% of organizations reporting they already use multiple predictive and generative AI models today.

Integration is a primary hurdle to AI innovation: While AI drives efficiency and productivity, it is dependent on integrated data. However, only an estimated average of 28% of apps are connected and 95% of IT leaders report integration issues are impeding AI adoption.

Security, trust remain as barriers to adoption: 64% of IT leaders are concerned with ethical AI usage and adoption.

The key report highlights

  • The new normal: AI inflection point amplifies the need for a coherent IT strategy. 87% of IT leaders report that the nature of digital transformation is changing. AI further complexifies the tech landscape, with an estimated 991 apps in the average enterprise. IT budgets increase to meet the surging demand.
  • As AI adoption explodes, integration and security concerns are the biggest barriers. The AI genie is out of the bottle, with over three-quarters of organisations reporting they use multiple AI models. 95% say difficulty integrating AI with other systems is a top barrier, followed by 79% reporting security concerns.
  •  IT leaders acknowledge that data silos and systems fragility are holding their companies back. Almost universally, 98% of IT leaders report facing challenges regarding digital transformation. Key drivers are the persistence of data silos at 81%. In addition to the fragility of tightly coupled and highly dependent systems at 72%.
  • Automation is still a source of contention between IT and the business. Business users benefit greatly from the automation of their work (saving 1.9 hours per employee per week). Nearly every department requires automation. However, the majority of IT departments still need to determine how to enable this in a secure and governed way. Two thirds (66%) of automation projects have IT as the sole gatekeeper.
  • Virtually every company (99%) runs on APIs, but few have turned them into a strategic lever. APIs remain a powerhouse for productivity and revenue, with an estimated one-third of revenue attributed to API-related offerings. However, managing and securing data at scale has become increasingly complex with API sprawl. This sprawl is why one-quarter of all APIs go ungoverned.

Enterprise Times: What this means for business

As usual, another thorough and interesting report from Mulesoft. The report suggests that organisations are looking to IT departments to pave the way to embracing AI. In the wake of AI technology advancements, 87% of respondents feel the nature of digital transformation is changing. AI has become mainstream and hit the headlines. Businesses, governments and society are beginning to understand the possible impact of the technology. As a result, the role of the CIO and other IT leaders is becoming more critical than ever.

At the same time, the surging demand for AI and automation means that IT leaders must establish and communicate a clear strategy for execution. Encouragingly in the research, 75% of respondents state that their IT leaders are already doing so. This has led to headcount and budgets growing to meet new demands. We are witnessing a modern-day technology gold rush and AI adoption is booming.

A significant minority of organisations are architected for AI success. Only 2% reporting no barriers to using their data for AI use cases. There are a variety of barriers to business success. From data quality to funding, and talent acquisition. However, security concerns, and outdated IT infrastructure leading to data silos and fragmented systems, tops the list. These will remain the key challenges for enterprises, irrespective of size or sector, for the foreseeable future.


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