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The last year has seen the demand for digital services skyrocket, causing digitization efforts to ramp up across the globe. In fact, in our recent study of business users, The State of Business and IT Innovation, we found there has been an 11-23% increase in digital projects over the last 12 months. With the pace of digitalization showing little sign of slowing down, it’s vital that organizations are equipped to meet these new demands. 

However, it’s apparent that many are currently struggling to keep up, with a lack of in-house skills and technology being cited as the main causes. For instance, in Japan, just 13% of business users feel that their organization has the capabilities to keep pace with digital projects. Even at the higher end of the scale, less than half (46%) of respondents from Hong Kong were confident that their organization had the necessary skills and technology. Whichever way you cut it, this is still far below what is needed to match the rise in digital projects.

The data imperative

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Our research also highlighted that challenges around connectivity are another major blocker to business productivity and value. While the vast majority (82%) of business users globally agree that quick and easy access to data, IT systems and applications is vital to their productivity, many organizations appear to be struggling to deliver this level of connectivity.

In the UK, for instance, nearly nine out of ten business employees think easy access to data is essential, but less than a quarter (23%) said their organization is efficient at connecting and using data to drive business value. This lack of quick and easy access to data risks hindering organizations’ ability to build connected customer experiences in the long term. In fact, globally, three out of five (59%) business employees feel that an inability to connect systems, applications, and data will impact business growth and revenue. These concerns are particularly acute in The Netherlands where more than two-thirds (68%) of respondents believed this.

Empowering all to integrate

The key to overcoming these challenges and driving innovation lies in increasing collaboration between IT and business users. This can be done through empowering the wider business, not just IT teams, to unlock and integrate data themselves to drive innovation at scale. By turning digital capabilities into APIs that are available via “clicks, not code” tooling, organizations empower a broader range of non-technical users to drive customer value and rapidly create new revenue opportunities. Globally, the majority of business users are ready to embrace this new, self-serve approach. Across all respondents, 80% said their organization would benefit if data and IT capabilities were discoverable and pre-packaged building blocks, allowing them to start creating digital solutions and deliver digital projects for themselves.

An example of this in practice is WatchBox, a leading company for pre-owned luxury watches. Using MuleSoft, WatchBox built digital capabilities using APIs, which enabled the company to launch eCommerce experiences in new markets 50% faster by unlocking data and automating processes. This includes the exchange of customer transactional information between disparate systems, such as Salesforce Commerce Cloud, Tableau, and legacy systems.

Bigger, better, faster customer experiences

From IT to business users, MuleSoft makes it possible to empower everyone in the company to integrate for themselves – unlocking data to drive digital projects, faster. Most recently, we released MuleSoft Composer for Salesforce, the fastest and easiest way to connect apps and data to Salesforce with clicks, not code. By leveraging the no-code integration solution, Salesforce administrators and business users are empowered to unlock data and create connected customer experiences.

Get more insights from our research, The State of Business and IT Innovation, and explore how mature different countries are when it comes to empowering their business users to unlock data and innovate.