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Everyone knows how critical integration is for business efficiency. Eighty-one percent of IT leaders report that data silos within their organizations are hindering their digital transformation efforts. And that’s a problem. Not just for IT teams, but for the broader organization, too. 

The reality is this: simply forging ahead in the status quo will only take you so far. Traditional integration approaches don’t scale, and they can quickly become complex, fragile, and difficult to manage at scale. 

With IT teams facing a 36% average increase in year-over-year projects, they simply must adjust to be more efficient with existing resources. 

Reusable solutions like APIs and API-based applications help IT teams create solutions for their organization, customers, employees, and business partners. These API networks allow for greater reusability, extending the efforts of IT team resources. 

Untangling tightly-knit integrations

To provide seamless user experiences, multiple back-end systems need to work together through tightly-knit integrations. However, achieving this level of cohesion is no small feat. 

Many companies find themselves entangled in an all-too-common “integration mess” when attempting to tackle integration challenges head-on. 

That’s because traditional approaches to integration, such as point-to-point connectivity, present significant obstacles, like brittle code – usually from one (or a combination) of three things:

  • Systems have changed
  • The integration and logic have changed
  • A need for systems being up all the time

Brittle code is expensive to maintain and difficult to modify or adapt. Consider moving payment processing systems using brittle code. Every connection that currently uses your old system must be updated as well (e.g. restaurant POS, mobile delivery checkout, among others). This is a costly and time-consuming endeavor.

As a result of migrating systems, the different logic equates to time and resources spent on maintenance and documentation versus higher-value activities like development.

Since there’s no buffer between an end-system and the app (e.g. an API), it puts an incredible amount of strain on the IT team to make the change in one seamless go successfully — like quickly filling up two cups from a running faucet without spilling water. It’s a challenging, but not impossible feat. 

A reliance on legacy systems and custom code further complicates the integration undertaking, making it difficult to get data from external partners or systems and incorporate unstructured data. 

This “integration mess” will only grow and cause bigger challenges as newer innovations come about, negatively affecting enterprise agility and efficiency.

Modern Composability

What does modern composability with MuleSoft look like?

You might wonder how organizations can overcome these integration hurdles. 

Modern composability on Anypoint Platform expands on an API-led connectivity approach. It unlocks data from any system and application – structured, unstructured, you name it. Anypoint Platform enables organizations to rapidly adapt to changing technologies and standards while eliminating sprawl and reducing costs. 

modern composability (n): An extension of API-led connectivity, it unlocks data from any system or application, extending existing architectures to incorporate modern technologies.

By breaking down complex integrations into smaller, composable elements and providing a framework to orchestrate them, organizations can easily combine and customize the pieces they need to meet any requirement. Examples include:

  • Back-end systems with APIs using pre-built connectors
  • API-less, legacy systems with RPA
  • Unstructured data and forms using IDP
  • Batch files, like CSV files via ETL

MuleSoft Anypoint Platform blends traditional technologies and standards, like EDI and REST, with newer innovations such as Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Intelligent Document Processing (IDP) (to integrate unstructured data), and Process Automation. 

By unifying these technologies onto a single platform, modern composability is an evolution of API-led connectivity, extending existing architectures to incorporate modern technologies. It empowers organizations to design, modify, and optimize their integration workflows with greater agility across multiple business units and functions.  

It’s a single platform with a diverse set of technologies that can easily be activated across the entire organization for both IT and business teams. 

The impact of modern composability is best illustrated when looking at how it’s used across multiple projects and teams. Take a look at these three projects: a customer mobile app, an operations dashboard with legacy system access, and a B2B/EDI partner portal experience. 

Project 1:  Standard API-led → Customer Mobile App

  • Start by using MuleSoft’s pre-built connectors to unlock data from multiple backend financial, order, and CRM systems (NetSuite, Stripe, SAP, Salesforce) 
  • Consolidate data into Finance, Order, and Operations APIs to create a one-stop shop for the customer mobile app to pull information from

Project 2: Incorporate Modern Technologies → Operations Dashboard and Legacy System Access 

  • Unlock additional finance data from a legacy system that does not support API-based integrations with RPA bots
  • Unlock additional order data from a homegrown order management system (OMS) by building an API using Anypoint Platform
  • Combined with the APIs from Project 1, you now have enough data to fuel an employee operations dashboard, allowing teams to see a complete view of all net-new and historical data 

Project 3: Incorporate New Teams → B2B/EDI Partner Portal 

  • Extend connectivity past the 4 walls of the enterprise to your business partners using our EDI solution to tap into the Orders API from Project 1
  • Automate the addition of unstructured data from manual order forms and static documents using IDP 
  • Drive action across your business teams by building process flows that can tap into all of the data we unlocked with the platform 

After the completion of the first project, each subsequent project leveraged previously built APIs. API reuse enabled teams to save time and effort, ultimately leading to more innovation and faster delivery. 

This is what we mean by modern composability. Not simply the ability to reuse and build up, but take it further by breaking down integrations and orchestrating them in a way that allows for customization to deliver on any number of projects and solve for not-yet-named challenges of tomorrow. 

The ability to quickly adapt and integrate diverse systems allows organizations to respond to technological advancements and market demands by enabling seamless integration of non-traditional technologies into your API-led architectures (e.g. RPA, IDP, Automation). Having this agility not only streamlines operations but also fosters innovation and drives business growth.

The impact of modern composability

As new technology emerges, agility is essential in adapting to it. Not because new technologies emerge overnight. Rather, it’s because adopting new technology has broad impacts across the ecosystem, and therefore needs to have the capacity to evolve along with change. If business processes and integrations aren’t agile, by the time you finish one project, it’ll be time to replace it again. 

Modern composability enables total organizations to easily augment existing systems and applications to adapt to changing demands. 

End-to-end connectivity 

To provide efficient data flows, organizations must build end-to-end connectivity across all apps and systems. Doing so gives developers the ability to reuse logic across applications, which can prevent duplication and allow them to build on each other’s work. On average, it delivers a 57% increase in overall productivity.  

Anypoint Platform helps deliver that with tools that guide users through the entire API lifecycle – from design and deployment to security and maintenance via a single pane of glass.

Resilient operations 

Security and governance are top priorities for IT leaders, but consistency and continuity across all environments is necessary to drive efficiency across the business. An enterprise-trusted integration platform is needed – no matter the location of your business operations or data. 

MuleSoft is able to deploy across 15 different regions, enabling scalable composability for global enterprises while maintaining end-to-end, enterprise-grade security with API gateway options to control access to APIs.

Accelerated delivery

With increased demand on IT teams, IT and business leaders alike are constantly seeking ways to deliver projects more quickly. 

A composable architecture enables 5x faster project delivery speed through reuse so teams can reduce time on repetitive, low-value tasks and more time innovating. 

Investing in API-based applications and modern composability on Anypoint Platform can transform the way in which organizations handle integration challenges. By creating a cohesive application network, companies can enhance their digital ecosystems, providing superior experiences for customers, employees, and business partners alike.

As we continue to navigate the complexities of digital transformation, embracing modern composability will be key to unlocking new opportunities and achieving sustained success.