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MuleSoft has released the report ‘Top 7 Digital Transformation Trends Shaping 2020’ which outlines the most timely digital transformation trends for 2020 and explores their impact across industries.

Digital transformation has become a catchall term for reimagining business in the digital age: it can refer to any process that uses digital technologies to solve for changing business and market requirements.

The top trends, according to Mulesoft are:

 Connecting the consumer experience.

Organisations need to solve for increasing pressure on IT to open up bandwidth for delivering connected, personalised experiences for their consumers – from customers to partners to employees to developers.

According to the report, “69% of consumers say a disconnected customer experience would make them consider changing service providers, 71% of IT decision-makers report customer experience is a top goal of their digital transformation initiatives, and 93% of business leaders say delivering a relevant and reliable customer experience will be critical to their company’s overall business.”

However, “81% of consumers believe organisations provide a disconnected experience and just 36% of IT decision-makers say their organisations provide a completely connected user experience across all channels.”

Data-driven business.

Unlocking and analysing data is at the heart of digital transformation. Businesses are putting their data to work in order to improve customer experiences, streamline operations, and quickly launch new products and services.

The report says “breaking down data silos is positively correlated with a company’s performance. At the best-run midsize companies, IT groups are more invested in breaking down data and application silos — a critical step towards enabling the sharing of insights across the company.”

Artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Organisations are increasingly investing in AI capabilities to expedite and personalise customer service, reduce human bias, and increase productivity. They are learning that the value of AI and machine learning tools are dependent upon the data they are fed.

“Organisations are often restricted by the fact that their data is locked up in siloed systems and applications,” says Mulesoft founder Ross Mason.

“As a result, getting that data into an AI engine to start revealing insights can be a major problem. If AI is the ‘brain,’ we liken APIs and integration to the ‘nervous system’ to help AI really create value in a complex, real-time business context.”

Multi-cloud computing.

Most enterprises today run on multi-cloud environments, but managing multiple clouds is complicated, specifically when it comes to moving application workloads between cloud environments. API-led application development and containerisation are two potential solutions to this problem.

Partnering with IT to turbocharge the business.

To maximise the full potential of technology, organisations are positioning IT as a core enabler to the business.

The report details the difficulties that IT departments are seeing as more pressure is placed on them to achieve business goals while still trying to run day-to-day operations, which is leading to an underwhelming result when it comes to project completion.

Co-creating value with external stakeholders.

The best businesses are creating a network effect by building collaborative ecosystems of partners, customers, and external stakeholders.

The report quotes MIT Sloan Management Research: “When markets become disrupted by new technologies and competitors, many legacy companies struggle to keep up. They are often simply ill-prepared to develop new products and services in the midst of the uncertainty. Rather than attempting to go it alone in such circumstances, some companies reach out to partners with an eye toward building a broader ecosystem that will boost their competitive strength.”

Fueling business performance with APIs.

Businesses leveraging APIs are experiencing increased productivity, revenue growth, and room for innovation — but they must be productised and easily reusable to deliver full value.

The report points out that reusable APIs are key to efficient utilisation, stating, “Companies that always reuse APIs see greater productivity and revenue growth than those who simply own APIs”