The Challenges of Digital Transformation

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Digital disruptions continue to weigh heavily on businesses of all sizes and in all sectors, as consumers, customers, employees and partners now expect everything to be accessible on demand, at all times; in short, everything needs to be fully connected.

If your business is already in tune with the digital age, great!

Otherwise, “it’s time to wake up” because we are no longer in the era “the biggest eats the smallest” but rather “the fastest eats the slowest”.

In this second post, which relates the MuleSoft (Connectivity Report) survey of 650 IT decision-makers from companies, more than 1,000 employees, from the US, Australia, Germany, England, Netherlands, Singapore and China, we will focus on the challenges faced by IT decision-makers in their digital transformation project.

The path to digital transformation in business

In a market where digital is the threshold for competitiveness, organizations face a new set of challenges to succeed.

Your digital transformation project could also be the ideal opportunity to not only get you up to speed with the competition and the market in terms of technology, but also to optimize some crucial non-performing processes.

To achieve their digital transformation goals, IT decision makers identified a number of specific initiatives they wanted to execute. These include:

  • modernization of existing systems (legacy)
  • integration of SaaS applications (Cloud)
  • investment in mobile applications

The challenges of IT Integration at the time of Cloud, Mobile, API, AI…



Any IT decision-maker would like to connect everyone and everything tomorrow morning, but the fact is that there are constraints to overcome.

For example, while swimming in the effervescence of Big Data and Artificial Intelligence, many companies are still struggling to take full advantage of their corporate data, letting asleep an underused asset with enormous potential.

In the digital transformation process, there is a lot of talk about improving the quality of the customer experience and it is largely a question of the quality of the information offered as part of this customer experience.

The question is, do you take full advantage of your business data?

A recent New Vantage Partners survey of 60 large companies, reviewed under the magnifying glass of Harvard Business Review, revealed that the majority of these companies have plummeted in the world of analytics for a long time now but very few have actually implemented a data-driven business culture.

According to another KPMG study, 85% of C-Levels reported having difficulty in “implementing the right solutions to accurately analyze and interpret their existing data”. In fact, many businesses simply collect data without knowing how to use it, transform it into information, or even intelligence.

Considering that there are now more customers and consumers who communicate, navigate and work directly from their mobile phone than from their computers, not to mention the employees and managers who have also jumped on the train; the quality of the information available today is more than critical, it is crucial.

Investment in mobile applications is not surprising given the current goals of increasing service efficiency and improving the customer experience quality.

In short, there is no doubt that the digital transformation first requires the control and the appreciation of the company’s data assets… for the mobile clientele!



As previously mentioned, the MuleSoft study identifies the following key digital transformation initiatives as priorities for IT decision-makers:

  • Modernize legacy systems
  • Integration of SaaS (Cloud) applications
  • Migration of applications to the Cloud
  • Investment in mobile applications


Not surprisingly, legacy system modernization accounts for more than a third of planned initiatives considering outdated or inefficient systems as major obstacles to digital transformation and, more specifically, a quality customer experience.

On the other hand, the integration of SaaS applications and the migration of applications to the Cloud are formidable levers of digital transformation for several reasons.

These two IT initiatives can be done at a lower cost because they do not involve the rewriting of legacy systems or custom integration with obsolete technologies. As a result, these IT initiatives can also run in a much shorter time frame than custom development and integration (on the premises).



Has Agility finally reached fully and deeply even large companies? Apparently, yes!

Indeed, few large companies embark on large-scale IT development projects such as rewriting complex systems nowadays. On the contrary, companies are now looking for the application, the product or the service offering the best benefit in the best possible delivery time and this has a lot to do with the “digital transformation” philosophy.

Research shows that the majority of financial services companies have embarked on digital transformation initiatives. This is understandable given the dramatic upheavals in the industry caused by the innovative Fintech and increasingly open banking regulations.

While health care providers and retailers are currently a little behind in that path, research shows that the vast majority of them will undertake digital transformation initiatives in the coming year.

With this in mind, the MuleSoft study identifies the nature of the key initiatives of IT decision-makers in these 3 main sectors of activity:.

Modernization of legacy systems 45% 33% 33%
Integration of SaaS applications 33% 30% 27%
Investment in mobile applications 32% 28% 33%
Migration of Cloud applications 40% 31% 20%
eCommerce Platform 27% 28% 32%
Automation of business process 27% 36% 19%


To be noticed that, modernization of legacy systems and business process automation are the major concerns of financial services companies.



Another of the major challenges of digital transformation, beyond integration, is to capitalize on the data, information and intelligence of the business: business intelligence, marketing intelligence, customer intelligence, etc.

And Intelligence in the broad sense relies first and foremost on the data that will be gathered, analyzed, categorized, processed and interpreted by more and more powerful algorithms.

IT decision-makers thus identify the technological areas in which they invest or plan to invest in the short and medium term, for this purpose:

  • Big Data / Analytics (57%)
  • Internet of Things (52%)
  • Multi-Cloud Strategy (44%)
  • AI / Machine Learning (43%)
  • Virtual Reality / Augmented Reality (34%)

The importance given to Big Data and Analytics is understandable, as they will be essential to take advantage of IoT and AI / Machine Learning innovation initiatives in the future.



It is clear that organizations need to adopt a new and much more effective IT Management and Development model that requires both cultural and technological change.

However, IT decision-makers continue to face the age-old dilemma of “keeping the car running” as opposed to “innovating”. As the numbers show, IT departments spend nearly two-thirds (63%) of their time “running the business” relative to innovation and development projects.

To solve the dilemma, more and more large companies are turning to the appreciation of their data and the reuse of their software assets; including internally-developed APIs which we will discuss in our next post.


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