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Worldwide spending on IT is expected to reach near-$4 trillion this year, according to Gartner, further underscoring our recent report that the vast majority of global organizations see digital transformation as a business imperative this year.

In line with the global average, 94% of U.S. respondents’ organizations are undertaking digital transformation initiatives. It appears such efforts are paying off for the benefit of the customer — IT leaders in the U.S. are more likely than their U.K., Germany, Netherlands, Australia, Singapore, and China counterparts to report that their organization is providing a completely connected customer experience (44% vs. 36% globally).

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While U.S. IT decision makers report being asked to deliver 34% more projects (slightly above the global average of 32%), they appear to be having more success in doing so – 50% report that they were able to deliver all of the projects asked of them last year (vs. 36% globally).

Here are the top strategies keeping them ahead of the game.

1. Using DevOps to improve efficiency

One initiative U.S. IT teams are considering to address growing digital transformation demands is the use of DevOps (52% vs. 50% globally). When DevOps is done right, it enables developers to automate processes, such as security, patching, configuration management, performance testing, and monitoring throughout various environments.

But DevOps alone isn’t enough to meet increasing demands of customers and the business; its ultimate focus is on application production and deployment. To increase the speed of delivery to market and value to the business, enterprises are attaching APIs to the artifacts produced through DevOps to make them discoverable and reusable, bringing us to point two.

2. Leveraging APIs to increase agility and innovation

APIs are the glue that connect the digital world, and U.S. organizations are capitalizing on their ability to discover, connect, and reuse software assets using APIs. 41% of U.S. businesses plan to leverage APIs, which is slightly ahead of the global average (39%).

U.S. IT decision makers also report their APIs are more likely to be managed like products by those that own them (47% vs. 43% globally). All of this is backed by a higher likelihood of having a fully automated software development lifecycle (14% vs. 11% globally), with continuous integration and delivery that allows organization to quickly test and launch new features and applications.

3. Having a leadership-mandated API-led strategy

Digital transformation is not only driven by the adoption of new technologies; it requires a forward-thinking organizational approach. Digitally mature organizations find the concept of productized APIs, or API-led connectivity, to be key to fast and agile delivery in the market, with many leaders adopting executive mandates to successfully align their organizations with an API-led approach. The golden standard is the Bezos Mandate of 2002 that fueled the transformation of Amazon from an online bookstore to one of the world’s most successful internet companies.

Other U.S. companies are following his lead, with 19% of them reporting having a leadership-mandated API-led strategy (above the global average of 15%). As a result, U.S. organizations are slightly less likely to report business and IT misalignment as a challenge to digital transformation (26% vs. 28% globally).

To access full insights on the global state of digital transformation, download our 2019 Connectivity benchmark report.