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The data is in! MuleSoft recently released its 2023 Connectivity Benchmark Report with insights from 1050 global IT leaders on the state of connectivity, digital transformation, automation, and more. 

The results of this year’s report show that companies are under immense pressure to digitally transform. Right now, organizations are focused on adapting to the economic times and driving innovation to meet customer expectations. Business leaders are turning to IT to get these results. 

With that, IT now has a new set of objectives. They must deploy automation to increase efficiency, enable integration across the business to drive results, and empower teams with tools and strategies that speed up time-to-value and lower organizational costs. Here is a look at some of the top takeaways from this year’s Connectivity Benchmark Report:

1. Leaders are investing in IT, and IT is delivering 

Leaders are looking to get more out of their IT organization. On average, global organizations spent $11.7 million on IT staff in the past 12 months – up from $9.4 million in 2022. This boost in IT budget is expected to continue as 78% say they expect IT budgets to increase over the coming year.

We’re also seeing that IT is getting better at delivery. Despite the 41% increase in year-over-year projects asked of the IT team, nearly half (48%) say they delivered all IT projects asked of them last year compared to 44% in our prior report. There was also a decrease in the average number of projects that were delivered late – 30% this year vs. 52% last year.

2. The cost of failing to digitally transform is higher 

The stakes for digital transformation have never been higher. The average organization could lose $9.5 million should they fail to complete their transformation initiatives. This is a sharp increase from last year’s estimate of $6.8 million.

However, more than two-thirds (69%) of organizations say they’re ahead of anticipated progress on their digital transformation projects, and only 10% say they are behind their expected progress.

3. The number of enterprise applications is on the rise 

We live in a hybrid working world, which naturally requires organizations to use more applications across the business than ever before. On average, organizations are using 1061 different applications across the enterprise, up from 976 in 2022. 

On average, 29% of these applications are integrated, which can be a major blocker to digital transformation. In fact, integration challenges slow or hamper digital transformation in 80% of organizations and 90% are challenged by data silos.

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4. Customers expect connected experiences 

In today’s digital age, customers now expect digital, connected experiences from the organizations they do business with. But this is no easy feat. Over half (54%) of ITDMs say it’s difficult to integrate end-user experiences.

Despite facing challenges, organizations are making incremental progress. More than a third (36%) of organizations say they provide a completely connected user experience across all channels compared to 30% in 2022.

5. Automation is needed in teams across the business 

Automation adoption is on the rise as automated tools free up employee time, allowing them to be more productive and efficient. A third (33%) of organizations plan to invest in robotic process automation (RPA) – a substantial increase from 13% in 2021.

Most IT organizations centrally manage (67%) and track (59%) automation work, but more non-IT roles are requesting automation capabilities in their part of the business. These include data science (64%), product (62%), finance (56%), marketing (58%), business analysts (61%), customer support (58%), engineering (57%), and HR (52%).

6. APIs help organizations save money and boost revenue 

APIs are the key to digital transformation. Nearly all (99%) organizations use public/private APIs in some part of their organization. They’re most commonly used to develop processes for new projects (53%) and for integrations (53%). They also generate 38% of the average organization’s revenue. 

The most cited business benefit from APIs is the ability to self-serve IT — mentioned by over half (52%) of organizations, up from 35% in 2018. Other business benefits include increased productivity (47%), innovation (44%), and employee engagement/collaboration (44%).

For more insights, download our 2023 Connectivity Benchmark Report.