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Digital transformation is a major initiative already underway or kicking off this year for 92% of organizations. This transformation is critical to the company’s bottom line, as 72% of IT leaders predict their organization will lose revenue if they don’t digitally transform in the next 12 months.

To successfully digitally transform, integration is necessary. Functional teams drive innovative ideas, and hand-off their technical needs to IT. This leads to a backlog of integration tasks — as 94% of IT leaders reporting that the need for integration spans across the entire organization. 

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Integration is no longer a problem that only IT needs to think about. With revenue and successful transformation on the line, it’s something the whole organization should be thinking about. Here are three members of your organization, outside of IT, that should be thinking about integration: 

#1: The CIO 

The CIO is the visionary of the organization and is driving digital transformation initiatives. They sit at the intersection of IT, the C-suite, and line-of-business leaders. The CIO absorbs, assesses, and then translates the implications of emerging technology for the organization and creates the path forward for innovation.

In order to digitally transform the organization and deliver these innovative ideas, the CIO will need integration. The CIO must understand the business goals and outcomes, have a strong understanding of how current business systems are connected, and create a plan for integration. Additionally, our research shows that teams with an API strategy reported experiencing 17.5% higher productivity, compared to those without a strategy — which is up to the CIO to build and implement. 

#2: Business leadership

While the CIO is the mediator between the C-suite and IT, business leaders still play an important role in driving an integration strategy. Business executives are the ones establishing goals and a vision for the company. To ensure those goals are successfully achieved, communication and alignment must be established to make innovation through integration possible. 

Our report shows that when a company-wide API strategy — mandated by business leadership — is implemented, IT leaders report higher rates of project completion, productivity, collaboration, and API-generated revenue. This approach requires conversations with IT to help business leaders understand the value of a company-wide API strategy. These types of conversations have positive results, including business transformation (54%), innovation (52%), and increased customer engagement (51%).

#3 Functional teams

Innovation begins at the front lines of the business — teams like sales, marketing, customer service — with the goal of improving the customer experience. These teams don’t have the right technical background to execute on their own, so these ideas are passed along to IT.

Functional teams must start viewing integration as the strategic responsibility of the entire business. These teams must partner together and align under a common goal to solve the integration issues across the organization. 

If the organization is already using an API-led approach, these teams should seek to self-serve their integration needs. Should IT have already created existing APIs with the proper governance and security specifications, functional teams can reuse that API to connect necessary systems. This method speeds up the process of integration and reduces the backlog of IT tasks. 

For more insights around integration, download our 2020 Connectivity Benchmark Report