MuleSoft, provider of a platform for building application networks, has announced the release of its 2016 Connectivity Benchmark Report. Based on a survey of 802 IT decision makers (ITDMs) globally, the report reveals IT challenges to meeting digital transformation initiatives in both the UK and Europe as a whole, and shows the potential negative impact on revenues and the role of APIs to address these challenges.
Based on responses to MuleSoft¹s survey, almost all companies (96 percent in the UK, 95 percent in Europe) are currently executing digital transformation or plan to do so in the near future. The survey also shows that ITDMs are well aware of how high the stakes are: 71 percent of ITDMs from the UK and 67 percent from Europe said challenges to digital transformation would negatively impact revenues within six months if they were not addressed. Almost half of respondents in the UK (and 39 percent in Europe) said it would take only three months.
The most common digital transformation goals are improving business processes (37 percent in the UK, 36 percent in Europe) and customer experience/engagement (36 percent in the UK, 37 percent in Europe). Major challenges to reaching those and other line-of-business goals are time pressure (42 percent in the UK, 45 percent in Europe) and issues with legacy infrastructure and systems (42 percent in UK, 38 percent in Europe).
Misalignment between business priorities and IT investments is an even bigger barrier to digital transformation (47 percent in both the UK and Europe). This is especially significant given that IT professionals are under growing pressure to deliver line-of-business initiatives. MuleSoft¹s research shows that in 2015 more than a half of IT professionals were expected to deliver line-of-business projects or initiatives in less than six months (59 percent in the UK, 55 percent in Europe). In 2016 that figure has grown (62 percent in the UK, 59 percent in Europe).
Ross Mason, founder and vice president of product strategy, MuleSoft, commented: "To remain competitive, companies need to think differently about how they unleash the value of their data and assets. The new approach of creating a network of data, applications and devices that different lines-of-business can access as needed quickly and securely starts with an API strategy and a discipline to create business-wide reusable services. In this way, they enable the lines-of-business to initiate and deliver their own IT projects. This is a fundamental shift in the way IT functions today within an organisation, and companies that don¹t grasp the need for this cultural change are overlooking a core component of digital transformation."
ITDMs named the two most common approaches they are taking to gain the kind of agility needed to speed up digital transformation, especially in light of IT budgets remaining relatively stagnant this year: moving to the cloud (54 percent in the UK, 49 percent in Europe) and building and managing APIs (51 percent in UK, 44 percent in Europe).
Indeed, after cloud and security, APIs will be the biggest IT investment companies make this year, at approximately 13 percent of spend in the UK and Europe. Almost all respondents (91 percent in UK, 88 percent in Europe) saw the value in reusing existing applications, data and digital resources to achieve digital transformation initiatives faster.
"Digital transformation is about transforming how a business works with technology," continued Mason. "This presents a large opportunity for IT to play a key role in supporting agility, innovation and business outcomes. We're seeing our customers do this by applying an API-led approach to connectivity. They¹re leveraging APIs and enterprise connectivity to deliver reusable assets that the business can build on top of. This enables agility and the ability to respond to rapidly shifting market conditions."
Between March 25th and March 28th, 2016, MuleSoft surveyed 802 ITDMs globally across Australia, the Netherlands, Hong Kong, Singapore, Sweden, the UK and the US. The survey assessed how organisations of all sizes are executing on digital transformation, IT challenges and technologies used to meet business goals. The survey's margin of error is +/-2.85 percentage points at a 90 percent confidence interval.