Firms Lack Tech and Skills to Keep Pace with Digital: MuleSoft

More than 80% of line of business employees agree easy access to data and IT capabilities are required to be productive as survey reports new digital projects increase.

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Brent Hayward, MuleSoft
Brent Hayward, MuleSoft

MuleSoft, provider of integration and API platform, has announced the findings of The State of Business and IT Innovation report. The global survey of 1,739 line of business (LoB) employees in organisations with at least 250 employees revealed only 37% of organisations definitely have the skills and technology to keep pace with digital projects during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The vast majority (82%) of LoB employees believe they need quick and 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 users are involved in identifying, suggesting or creating new ways to improve the delivery of digital services externally, such as building an online self-service portal or a customer-facing mobile application. Yet less than one-third (29%) think their organisation is very effective in connecting and using data from multiple sources to drive business value.

“Every industry faces immediate change, and every organisation needs to respond to the needs of its customers faster than ever before in a digital-first world,” said Brent Hayward, CEO, MuleSoft. “This research shows data is one of the most critical assets 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 increasingly slow down digital initiatives

According to McKinsey, businesses that once mapped digital strategy in one to three-year phases must now scale their initiatives in a matter of 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%, highlighting what is hampering the pace of business and the ability to meet customer expectations:

  • Data silos: A third (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: Almost three in ten (29%) of LoB employees say a lack of digital skills across the business is also an inefficiency when delivering digital
  • Already stretched IT teams can’t deliver projects quickly enough: More than half (51%) of LoB employees are currently frustrated by the speed at which their IT team can deliver digital projects.

Integration challenges directly impact revenue and customer experiences In light of increasing operational inefficiencies, it is not surprising that more than half (54%) of LoB respondents say they are frustrated by the challenge of connecting different IT 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, such as robotic process automation (RPA).

Organisations must unlock data to empower everyone to go digital, faster As demands for digital initiatives grow, organisations across industries need to move faster than ever before. Business users 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: The majority (58%) of LoB employees think IT leaders are spending more of their 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 — in a way that’s governed but not gated by IT. IT can then 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: More than two-thirds (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: An overwhelming majority (80%) of respondents think it would be beneficial to their organisation if data and IT capabilities were discoverable and pre-packaged building blocks, which allow LoB employees to start creating digital solutions and deliver digital projects for

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