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Report shows integration challenges despite the growing use of apps in organisations

According to recently released data, Australian organisations have seen a significant increase in business application volumes over the past year. 

The average number of applications has surpassed 1,000, with an almost 10 per cent increase in volume. However, the report also found that only 32 per cent of these applications are integrated, creating data silos that can lead to several issues, including increased costs, duplicated work, productivity bottlenecks, and disconnected experiences.

MuleSoft, a software company specialising in integration technology, conducted its annual Connectivity Benchmark Report to provide insights into the issues arising from data silos and how businesses can navigate the current economic uncertainty to succeed.

The report highlights the need for integrated applications to improve efficiency and eliminate the duplication of work. It identifies the integration of applications as a crucial factor in achieving success in the current economic climate.

The report offers suggestions to help organisations streamline their application landscape, such as adopting an API-led approach to integration.

By leveraging APIs, organisations can unlock the potential of their data, create seamless experiences for their employees and customers, and improve business outcomes. APIs enable different applications to communicate with one another, allowing businesses to connect data from various sources and make better-informed decisions.

Integration challenges slowing digitising efforts

Despite the progress made in digital transformation efforts, integration challenges are hindering organisations in Australia. A recent survey revealed that 84% of respondents are experiencing slow progress due to these challenges, which can result in infrastructure issues and significant risks, especially as IT budgets are under increased scrutiny.

On average, organisations in Australia use a staggering 1,032 different applications, highlighting the complexity of their digital landscapes. However, the survey also found that only 32 per cent of these applications are currently integrated, indicating a need for connectivity and data sharing.

The cost of custom integration labour is also on the rise, with organisations spending an average of USD$3.6 million in the past 12 months. This cost can be attributed to the need for more integration between applications and the need for custom work to connect these siloed systems.

The report further highlights that 32 per cent of respondents identify integrating siloed apps and data as their most significant digital transformation challenge, causing headaches for organisations. The issue of data silos results in disconnected experiences and duplication of work, making it difficult for businesses to make informed decisions.

The good news? New technology is solving these problems and making integration easier. Some of the world’s biggest companies are using real-time data technologies to integrate, ingest, and store real-time data streams at scale, with built-in connectors that bring in data from every channel (mobile, web, APIs), legacy data through, and historical data from proprietary data lakes.

“We’ve seen significant investment and dedication from businesses looking to transform digitally. Even amid uncertain economic conditions, digital transformation efforts are well underway and even speeding up in some cases,” said Matt McLarty, CTO, MuleSoft.

“However, integration efforts are lagging; without this, businesses cannot realise the full value of their data and application capabilities. Integration tools and automation help close that gap, enabling productivity, efficiency, and innovation gains that will allow businesses to achieve innovation gains that will propel businesses forward.”

API-led connectivity is proving to be a game-changer for organisations in Australia as they become more digitally focused and cost-conscious. With the help of APIs, businesses are able to integrate applications and data to create exceptional customer experiences and generate revenue.

To accelerate transformation, 51 per cent of organisations have a mature strategy to empower non-technical users with low-code tools, enabling them to integrate applications and data sources using APIs easily. This approach has proven to be successful in improving business agility.

Furthermore, APIs are driving revenue, with organisations in Australia generating an average of 42 per cent of their revenue from APIs. As a result, 77 per cent of organisations have adopted a top-down API integration strategy to maximise the benefits of APIs.

As demands on IT teams continue to rise, automation is becoming an increasingly popular solution for boosting efficiency and productivity across an organisation. Robotic Process Automation (RPA), a technology that allows teams to automate business processes and tasks using bots, is one such technology that is seeing rapid adoption across enterprises, with 25% of organisations in Australia investing in it.

Many companies are reporting a need for both automation and integration solutions across multiple departments. In fact, 98% of organisations in Australia reported that at least one department requires both integration and automation.

While IT teams continue to ‘own’ automation amid digital disruption, non-technical roles are eager to adopt automation solutions. Business analysts (63 per cent), product (62 per cent), customer support (58 per cent), data science (60 per cent), finance (47 per cent), marketing (66 per cent), engineering (48 per cent), and HR (50 per cent) have all reported a need for automation in their respective departments.

With an opportunity for greater integration efficiency, reusable integrations offer cost-saving opportunities. On average, 48 per cent of organisations’ internal software assets and components are available to developers for reuse.

Read the full report here.

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Yajush Gupta

Yajush Gupta

Yajush is a journalist at Dynamic Business. He previously worked with Reuters as a business correspondent and holds a postgrad degree in print journalism.

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