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Digital disruption is everywhere. We see it in retail with big players like Amazon, the transportation industry with applications like Uber and Lyft, and AirBnB in hospitality. The world around us is changing and going digital.This worries many leaders in at-risk industries — because the traditional good or service they offer may eventually become obsolete. 

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These young companies are able to disrupt established industries because they use cloud platforms and mobile software to deliver their products and services faster, more efficiently, and in a more personalized way than the players already in the space.

This poses both a threat and an opportunity for companies already operating in these industries. Companies, now more than ever, are investing in innovative technology that is helping them stay competitive in the era of disruption. KPMG found that enterprises that underinvest in innovation are putting themselves at a strategic disadvantage.

“The cost of underinvesting in enterprise-scale innovation is high. It can mean the difference between continued growth and obsolescence.”

Fiona Grandi, KPMG national managing partner of innovation and enterprise solutions, Benchmarking Innovation Impact 2020.

Ross Mason, MuleSoft’s founder, says that incumbents recognize that they need to innovate and get to market faster. Businesses are turning to application networks to achieve this level of innovation at scale — this facilitates connections between various enterprise systems.

Organizations like McDonald’s and New York Life are leveraging an application network to digitally transform.

Using an API-led approach, McDonald’s connects its internal systems, like its POS and mobile app, to third-party software from delivery partners. Now when a customer buys their food through a delivery app, the service connects to McDonald’s POS system to process the purchase. McDonald’s former global CIO, Frank Liberio said “We had to change or lose share,” at CONNECT in September.

MuleSoft showed its value for McDonald’s most when it comes to reusability. Each time a new application is introduced, developers can use the same APIs to connect its existing systems to these new applications, rather than writing new custom code for every functionality that is introduced. This saves time and money, and allows the business to innovate at a quicker pace with each asset made with existing assets.

New York Life, a 174-year-old life insurance giant, uses APIs to allow customers to complete important tasks, such as address changes and submitting applications. This connectivity also helps insurance agents track each step in an application process and assist customers more efficiently and fluidly across channels. 

While these use cases are essential, the move to an application network is part of a larger initiative for New York Life to provide an omnichannel experience for members and agents. New York Life’s aim is to “stay up to date and relevant” for its customers, as the insurance industry faces pressure from insurtech startups that use machine learning to personalize insurance products. 

CIO’s can get started on their digital transformation journey led by API connectivity by downloading our blueprint.