IT Visionaries Podcast: How to connect the world using APIs and integration

I had the pleasure of joining Ian Faison, founder of Mission.org, to record an episode for the podcast, IT Visionaries. The episode is part of a series hosted by the Salesforce Customer 360 Platform to discuss emerging trends in IT and how you can apply those trends at your organization. 

I’ve shared the top five insights from our conversation below. My main hope for you when listening to the podcast and reading this list is that you start thinking about APIs and integration as the drivers of change within your organization. There are also helpful insights about the steps you can take on your digital transformation journey. 

#1: Connected, seamless customer experiences are the new battleground. 

Businesses are under phenomenal pressure to change; to move faster, to do more, to innovate. And what’s driving that pressure is the customer — and today’s customers expect integrated, connected experiences across all channels. 

In order to deliver a seamless customer experience, teams need data that is currently trapped across 900 systems. What’s more, for most companies only 29% of those systems are connected. In order to meet the demands of their customers, enterprises need to unlock the power of data across systems to deliver connected experiences

#2: Integration is the main barrier to achieving connected customer experiences.

Speaking to our customers, I often hear the same issue when it comes to innovating: the challenge of integration. Across industry, country, or company size, integration stands out as the consistent #1 barrier companies have to achieving their digital transformation strategies

Why’s that? With the introduction of the cloud and other new technologies, organizations now have thousands of cloud-based applications, in addition to their legacy systems, each housing critical data that needs to be exposed. The challenge has become so complex, that stalled integration is the number one reason new initiatives fail. 

#3: Traditional approaches make integration harder than it needs to be. 

Many organizations still hold onto their traditional approach to integration — a point-to-point method — which makes integration even harder. Developers spend hours writing and rewriting the same custom code for each new project — frustrating developers and limiting teams’ ability to work on new projects. 

It doesn’t have to be that way. By taking an API-led approach to connectivity, IT can unlock data from core systems with APIs and expose them in a way that other teams can discover and reuse. This gives IT the power to enable the business to innovate, and innovate quickly, by using APIs as reusable building blocks, broadening the scope of who can develop new ideas and experiences for customers. 

#4: A shift in mindset is critical: from “rebuild” to “reuse.”

To remain competitive, companies need to change how they think about integration. Rather than rebuilding point-to-point integrations for every project or product, developers need to switch to an API-led approach that promotes reuse. The first step toward digital transformation is getting business *and* IT teams to understand the benefits of reusable assets.

There are great parallels with how you might think about creating other products. Take a car manufacturer – one of the CIOs I spoke with put it this way:

Say you’re a car maker. Do you want to custom-build a Ferrari every single time? Custom-make the car from the body to the leather, stitching, and paint? 

Or do you want to build a manufacturing delivery process that uses reusable components to get 70% of the way there. And if you want to change the color or the leather, custom-build those aspects. This will be faster and cheaper and more efficient. 

#5: Every company is becoming a technology company.

I believe that in 10 years, every company will be considered a technology company, powered by technology platforms that foster innovation. This is a new way of operating and will take the buy-in of a whole organization to get there — not just IT. 

This transformation starts with alignment between IT and the business. Listen to the full episode of the podcast to hear more ideas about how to foster innovation across your organization. 

At MuleSoft, we’re making it possible for anyone to drive innovation with an API-led approach to integration and application development. Start today by becoming an Integration Trailblazer. Take our Trailmix on Trailhead to learn everything there is to know about APIs and integration.



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