Digital Transformation: Is your business ready?

“Digital transformation” is a term likely circulating around IT departments everywhere. The vast majority of businesses today, no matter how big or small, will likely need to further digitalize their operations in order to keep up with competitive markets and an ever-growing list of digital trends.

There are endless components associated with digital transformation. Late last year, tech company MuleSoft conducted their annual Connectivity benchmark for 2018, which surveyed more than 600 ITDM across a variety of industries. The results shed light on the importance of digital transformation, the issues that stand in the way of these transformations, and what ITDMs (Information Technology Decision Makers) believe to be the future of IT.

According to the survey, the stakes are high. The vast majority of ITDMs surveyed admitted their business’s revenue would be negatively impacted if digital transformation didn’t take place, and soon. Companies simply can’t afford to let their IT operations fall to the wayside.

Digitalizing your business operations is no easy task. Creating an online portal or creating new online processes doesn’t mean you’ve digitalized. You’ve got to have clear goals before you begin this undertaking. More often than not, the top goal of businesses is to streamline their operations to run more efficiently.

Analyzing The Data

The vast majority of ITDMs understand the importance of upgrading their digital enterprises, with only 3% of organizations surveyed revealing they had no intentions of a digital revamp. In fact, approximately three quarters (74%) of those surveyed said they were currently undergoing digital transformation initiatives. Another 23% revealed plans to do so over the next three years.

Establishing Clear Goals

Digital transformations are futile without an end goal. Therefore, in order for ITDM to effectively transform their digital operations, they need to know both what is at stake, and in which ways they’d like a revamp to serve the organization.

Of ITDMs surveyed, more than 83% cited increasing IT’s operational efficiency among their top priorities. Other areas of high importance include improving business efficiency, and introducing new products and faster services. Digital transformations can help enhance a number of aspects of your company, rendering them vital in today’s business landscape.

The MuleSoft survey revealed that ITDMs intend to focus on a few specific initiatives to achieve their IT goals. These include modernizing their legacy apps, integrating SaS apps and investing in mobile apps. Other areas of focus include migrating apps to the cloud and establishing an e-commerce platform.

Enhancing The Customer Experience

One other major goal for businesses undergoing digital transformation is to improve the customer experience. This means improving the customer experience by connecting customer-facing systems. The vast majority, 92% of ITDMs, revealed that forging a connected experience for both customers and employees is a priority for their respective organizations. As of December 2017, only 39% of those surveyed revealed their organizations offered a completely connected user experience. These figures are in line with a previous MuleSoft survey, which found that over half of consumers believe they are receiving a disconnected experience when dealing with businesses like retailers, banks, insurers, and other public services.

Common Roadblocks

IT departments face a number of issues that hinder the potential for successful digital transformation. In addition to time constraints, there are other factors at play, such as misalignment between business and IT, problems within legacy infrastructure and systems, and a lack of resources and budget.

For today’s businesses, there is often a disconnect between what IT professionals must do, versus what their departments can realistically handle. While it’s commonly the responsibility of IT to implement development projects and focus on innovation, much of their workload involves helping the business run. In fact, the survey data shows that 63% of IT departments’ time is spent on business operations, rather than exploring new ways to drive profits through technology.

Integration Issues

Of all the roadblocks between IT departments and their goals, integration seems to be the largest barrier. Nearly 90% of ITDMs revealed challenges with integration, with 81% saying point-to-point integration creates the biggest headaches. Not only is this an issue for efficiency, but it presents financial repercussions, with organizations spending almost one-quarter of their yearly IT budgets on integration.

The Benefits Of APIs

It’s common knowledge in the IT circle that APIs make life easier for developers. They’re also critical for success in today’s digital landscape. Not only do APIs expand a business’s capabilities, but they also make it easier for employees to consume data in a simple, standardized way. According to MuleSoft’s Connectivity survey, organizations have both increased IT-self service and decreased their operational costs by leveraging APIs. And the results can be seen in revenue, as well. More than 35% of ITDMs surveyed through the Connectivity survey revealed that more than one-fourth of their revenue was the result of APIs.

Digital transformations are a fact of life for many businesses today, and if they’re not yet, they soon will be. From managing operations to improving customer and employee experiences, digital transformations are just one-way businesses are further embracing the power of the internet age.

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