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
Almost 3 in 5 agree integration challenges hinder business growth and revenue
MuleSoft, provider of the world’s #1 integration and API platform, today announced the findings of The State of Business and IT Innovation report. The global survey1 of 1,739 line of business (LoB) employees in organizations with at least 250 employees revealed only 37% of organizations 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 employees 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 organization is very effective in connecting and using data from multiple sources to drive business value.
“Every industry faces immediate change, and every organization 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 that businesses need to move fast and thrive into the future. Organizations 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 that 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%2, 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%) 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: 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 organization. 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 organizations are looking to automate business processes via capabilities, such as robotic process automation (RPA).
Organizations must unlock data to empower everyone to go digital, faster
As demands for digital initiatives grow, organizations 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 democratize these capabilities by giving business users the tools they need to easily and quickly unlock data, connect applications, and automate processes.
- Organizations 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 organization’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 organization.
- LoB employees need easy access to data to go faster: An overwhelming majority (80%) of respondents think it would be beneficial to their organization 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 themselves.
“Organizations need to shift to a new operating model, where IT becomes an enabler of innovation. By turning their digital capabilities into APIs that are available via ‘clicks, not code’, organizations can begin to provide their LoB 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, organizations can enable innovation everywhere, in a way that’s governed but not gated by IT.”
- Paul Crerand, Field CTO, EMEA at MuleSoft
MuleSoft, in partnership with Censuswide, surveyed 1,739 line of business (LoB) middle managers and above regarding their thoughts on and involvement in digital initiatives and innovation at their organizations. An online survey was conducted in September 2020 across the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Japan. Only suitable candidates participated in the survey and were verified by using a rigorous, multi-level screening process. Respondents are all LoB middle managers or above, defined as those who hold a managerial position or above. Respondents exclude LoB middle managers working in IT or administration roles. All respondents work in organizations with at least 250 employees. Censuswide abides by and employs members of the Market Research Society, which is based on the ESOMAR principles. When referencing agreement, involvement, frustration or beneficial, these combine the sentiments of respondents who either somewhat or strongly felt that way.
2On average, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a percentage increase in the number of digital projects across countries: United States 22%, United Kingdom 21%, France 15%, Germany 18%, Netherlands 15%, Australia 17%, Singapore 23%, Hong Kong 21%, Japan 11%.