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A majority (88%) of business leaders believe that IT has become even more important to driving business outcomes. The success of an organization depends on an IT team’s ability to deliver digital capabilities and integrations at scale — which can be a challenge for immature IT organizations. An immature IT organization lacks direction, has siloed data and systems, and is slow to deliver innovations. In contrast, a mature IT organization has a strategy that aligns with business goals, can deliver new projects quickly, and is current on modern industry standards and best practices. 

There are six factors that must be assessed to determine the maturity of an IT organization: 

  • Operations.
  • Software development lifecycle (SDLC).
  • Strategy.
  • Organization and governance.
  • Discoverability and self service.
  • Community and evangelism.

MuleSoft’s Customer Success team regularly performs maturity assessment workshops with our customers to gain insight into these factors. Customers are given maturity scores for each category and our Customer Success team uses the assessment to guide them with tailored recommendations to further develop IT maturity.

We recently launched a report based on the surveys done over the last three years with over 1,300 MuleSoft customers. This blog will review each of the six factors that this report highlights.

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#1 Operations

Operations is the foundation of IT maturity. A mature IT organization understands its landscape of systems and applications and enables them to communicate and share data between them. Assessing an organization’s IT operations maturity includes examining the infrastructure, as well as its troubleshooting and monitoring capabilities. 

Immature IT organizations have legacy-based and ad-hoc infrastructure, reactive process troubleshooting processes, and no standardized set of key performance indicators (KPIs) against which they are tracking. The infrastructure in a mature IT organization is integrated and meets the needs of both the architecture and the business while leveraging DevOps best practices. These organizations have a robust set of centralized processes and tools for troubleshooting with automation capabilities and leverage the monitoring features within Anypoint Platform to see how their applications are stacking up against their operational KPIs.

#2 Software development lifecycle

An agile SDLC embraces the idea of reuse and self-service with composable assets. This composability prevents organizations from needing to start from scratch with every new iteration and enables them to deliver applications faster. The maturity factors to consider here are SDLC architecture, methodology, and quality assurance. 

Less mature IT organizations lack an SDLC architecture altogether, have no standard SDLC process documentation, and have manual QA and testing processes. Our most mature customers use a modern architecture catalog grounded in API-led connectivity. They also have a documented software development methodology that uses agile principles and emphasizes the production and use of reusable assets across the organization. Mature organizations also have automated, multi-faceted testing and reporting ingrained into the SDLC lifecycle. 

#3 Strategy 

Strategy serves as the north star for IT organizations — it determines which values are present, goals to work toward, as well as how to work and organize for success. The maturity factors an organization must consider here are a concrete API strategy, a strong partnership between the business and IT teams, and an application network they can actively measure. 

Immature organizations approach integration on an ad-hoc basis, which leads to brittle and inefficient point-to-point connections. Additionally, they lack a strong set of shared goals and alignment between their IT and business teams and lack an application network altogether. Our most mature customers treat APIs like products, exhibit close partnerships between technical and business stakeholders — including a shared API strategy, joint KPIs, goals, and roadmaps — and have a well-rounded understanding of their enterprise-wide application network.

#4 Organization and governance

As organizations increase in IT maturity, they’ve not only established an API strategy but also consistently enforce that strategy. This encompasses sponsorship from executive leadership, a reuse incentive program, and governance capabilities. 

Immature organizations have little to no executive sponsorship for their API strategy. They lack a culture of reuse and have little to no visibility into their applications and data. Mature organizations take a top-down approach to developing an integration and API strategy: They incentivize their teams to build with reusable components and have enterprise-wide visibility and governance of their data sources and implemented business processes. 

#5 Discoverability + self service

One of the critical ways mature organizations drive agility is by surfacing comoposable assets to developers across the enterprise. To achieve this, organizations need a centralized repository for integration assets, should establish a self-service model for using these components, and have a culture that encourages reuse.

Immature organizations have few to no APIs to be discovered, have basic self-service capabilities, and don’t consider reuse a critical part of their culture. Advanced organizations have a centralized library of assets, follow processes with intentionally designed self-service and decoupling. Additionally, leadership in mature organizations strongly encourages teams to reuse existing assets and frameworks for new projects to enable faster development and prevent teams from reinventing the wheel.

#6 Community and evangelism

Advanced organizations have a community behind them to further drive innovation. When a community is engaged and given access to APIs, applications, data, and existing capabilities — both internal and external developers can enhance what an organization already offers. 

Our most mature customers have a dedicated group that operates within the company to drive sharing and reuse and have well-established and effective processes for developer onboarding and training. Mature organizations appropriately share with their community, enable them, and celebrate their successes.

Developing IT maturity is no easy task — especially with so many factors to consider. Learn more about how to develop IT maturity by downloading the full report. If you are a customer ready to transform into a composable enterprise, reach out to your MuleSoft Customer Success team to schedule a Catalyst Maturity Assessment workshop where you will get hands-on recommendations tailored to your organization.