Top 7 digital transformation trends to drive efficient growth in 2023

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A couple of years ago, the pandemic drove an urgent acceleration in digital transformation initiatives. It pushed companies (of all sizes) to invest in advanced technologies to survive in the new normal. However, those investments were not just a few blips on the radar. The ensuing economic uncertainty, combined with changing customer needs, has led enterprises to double down on their efforts — with a renewed focus on operational efficiency, productivity and resilience. 

As this trend continues, Salesforce-owned Mulesoft has identified seven digital transformation aspects that will be key to overcoming operational pressures and driving efficient and sustainable growth in 2023.

Automation for efficiency

While enterprises have already been adopting automation, Mulesoft suggests that, in 2023, the investment in the technology will go beyond isolated cases. The aim will be to help business leaders do more with less. This will eventually help them drive efficient growth, enhance productivity and generate cost savings amid business uncertainty caused by surging inflation, rising energy costs, growing labor shortages and geopolitical conflict.

According to a Deloitte survey, 53% of organizations have already started implementing robotic process automation (RPA). Meanwhile, Gartner forecasts that, by 2024, hyper-automation will allow organizations to lower operational costs by 30%. By 2025, the market for hyper-automation software will hit nearly $860 billion.

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“Everybody wants to automate the work they do; meanwhile we’re in an economic situation where businesses must prioritize cost efficiency. Automation is about creating ways of working that can save time while continuing to drive efficient growth, and simply doing more with less,” Brent Hayward, CEO of MuleSoft, said.

Composability for agility

Agility is the need of the hour, but most enterprises are failing to achieve it because of legacy technologies and data silos. According to Mulesoft, in 2023, companies will address this problem by widely adopting a composable enterprise strategy. This will enable teams to reuse their existing capabilities to adapt to changing market needs, helping them gain customer loyalty and growth in a cost-effective and strategic way. 

Gartner predicts that, by 2023, 60% of mainstream organizations will list becoming a composable enterprise as a strategic objective, and those adopting this approach will outpace their competition by 80% in speed of implementing new features.

IT teams are under constant pressure to meet digital transformation needs. But the talent needed to drive these initiatives is in shorter supply than ever. This, Mulesoft suggested, will be solved in 2023 with the widespread adoption of low code/no-code tooling.

With these tools, we’ll see more organizations create fusion teams combining business and technology experts, empowered to speed up transformation projects to meet tight deadlines. In fact, according to Gartner, IT departments that empower their business users in this way are 2.6 times more likely to accelerate their digital transformation projects.

Total experience (TX) for customer and employee backing

Enterprises have long focused on improving customer experience (CX) to drive growth, safeguard revenue and ensure loyalty. However, they have now come to realize that improving the employee experience (EX) is equally critical to success.

As such, Mulesoft estimates that, in 2023, an increasing number of leading organizations will look at total experience (TX) as a means of improving the journeys of both customers and employees, particularly in the areas where they intersect. This will create superior shared experiences and drive additional business value by reusing existing technology investments that are foundational to key customer and employee experience initiatives.

As per Gartner’s predictions, by 2026, 60% of large enterprises will use TX to transform their business models to achieve “world-class customer and employee advocacy levels.” Plus, by 2024, organizations focusing on total experience will outperform competitors by 25% in satisfaction metrics for both CX and EX.

Automated data intelligence

While organizations are focusing on being data-driven, most of the data assets needed to generate actionable intelligence remain siloed and locked across systems. In 2023, Mulesoft said, companies will address this problem with a modern, composable approach to integration. This will pave the way to creating a data fabric that connects data across platforms and between business users. By embedding real-time analytics into this data fabric, organizations will be able to automate decision-making, dynamically improve data usage and cut data management efforts by 70%.

More layered and integrated cyber defenses

According to Mulesoft, growing investments in distributed architectures and edge technologies will result in greater security risks in 2023. In response, the company said, organizations will adopt the cybersecurity mesh approach, where “a flexible, composable architecture integrates widely distributed and disparate security services.” Gartner says that by 2024, organizations adopting this architecture will reduce the financial impact of security incidents by an average of 90%. However, in order to succeed, they will need to manage connections, APIs, compositions and automation bots from a single administration interface.

>>Don’t miss our new special issue: Zero trust: The new security paradigm.<<

Sustainability will be a point of focus

CXOs have been extremely vocal about environmental sustainability, given its benefit to the planet as well as its potential to differentiate a business as a “green crusader.”

According to Mulesoft, in 2023, companies will look to drive sustainability in their operations by using a composable enterprise strategy to unlock and integrate data and applications, and applying automation and analytics to derive insights. 

Currently, some 90% of technology leaders recognize sustainability as a key IT objective in their organization and expect budgets for it to increase by 10-20% over the next three years.

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