The rise of the ‘business technologist’ and ‘hyperautomation’ – MuleSoft outlines seven trends to watch in 2022
As we move into 2022, the trends we see emerging will increasingly be geared towards delivering improved user experiences and innovation at speed. Unlocking data and harnessing digital capabilities will be the cornerstone of future transformation initiatives, with composable businesses set to take centre stage in the year ahead. MuleSoft, provider of the world’s #1 integration and API platform, has outlined the trends that will shape these emerging operating models and IT priorities in 2022.
The future of work will be built on connected, hybrid experiences
In 2022, hybrid working will continue to cement itself as the new normal. Creating frictionless hybrid experiences will be key to maximising productivity and retaining the best talent, as employees increasingly expect their work lives to be as connected as their personal ones. To make this a reality, companies will need to move beyond one-off investments in new collaboration platforms to initiatives that create fully connected workplace experiences.
To support this, IT leaders will look for new ways of empowering teams across their organisation, by giving them easy access to the apps and data they need to do their jobs wherever they’re working from. They will also look for ways to support greater collaboration between IT and business teams, by enabling them to access, unlock, and integrate data and apps in a secure and governed way.
The composable business matures
Today’s always-on digital economy brings huge pressure for organisations to get things right for the end user. To keep pace, driving agility will be front of mind for all. This will see the rise of the composable business in 2022 – where digital capabilities can be composed from existing applications using APIs, rather than being built from scratch every time. Composable businesses can turn their digital capabilities and data into secure and discoverable building blocks that employees can reuse to compose their own solutions.
To support this, organisations will increasingly move away from only using RESTful APIs. These will be supplemented by event-driven AsyncAPIs and data-driven GraphQL APIs, which are more flexible and extensible and support the fluid, real-time interactions that consumers expect today. The organisations at the forefront of this trend will lead the charge to a more agile, composable, and event-driven future.
The year of the ‘business technologist’
Business technologists – employees who sit outside of IT – will be empowered to drive their own digital innovation. This will help alleviate the IT bottlenecks and in turn freeing up even more time for innovation. Organisations will increasingly embrace low or no-code approaches and AI-assisted development tools.
With this approach, business technologists can create connected experiences without needing to learn how to code. 80% of organisations already have a mature approach to enabling non-IT users to easily integrate apps and data sources through APIs, or are in the process of developing plans to. In 2022, this trend will gain momentum, and business teams will continue to work more closely alongside IT to accelerate innovation and drive greater value for the wider company.
The growth of hyperautomation
Over the next year, automation will be a fundamental driving force for the modern digital enterprise, rather than a capability to be rolled out in piecemeal projects. As a result, it will be scaled across the entire enterprise – leading to hyperautomation, where companies automate anything that can be automated.
However, the shift to digital-first customer and employee experiences has created more data from more systems, which makes it harder to achieve this level of automation. Companies now face the challenge of securely integrating, automating and managing workflows across multiple silos of data and systems at scale. To succeed, organisations will need to combine integration, API management, and automation, so they can scale and increase the speed of work through hyperautomation – from streamlining sales operations to speeding up customer case resolution
Security-by-default will become a must-have
The shift to the composable business comes with a natural acceleration of digital innovation. While this is central to driving success, it also invites cybersecurity risks. If managed incorrectly, organisations and their customers could be exposed to financial and reputational damage. Unfortunately, API attacks have become a frequent threat vector. As such, the technology platforms used to support and manage APIs in 2022 will be critical, and will need to be “secure-by-default”.
This means that, in cases where there are a range of configuration options, the most secure option will always be offered by default. Even in cases where users proactively choose the less secure route, these secure-by-default platforms will offer pop-up prompts and tips to explain the risks to the user as they go.
Hybrid complexity will need to be managed
Making the move to hybrid and multi-cloud provided many organisations with the flexibility needed to navigate the challenges of the pandemic. However, these environments have also drastically increased the complexity of modern digital ecosystems. In 2022, organisations will seek to efficiently manage the complexity and universal API management will be at the heart of this.
We will see a growing need for universal platforms that enable organisations to manage their APIs wherever they are created, whatever standards they are governed by, and whatever gateways they have. This will allow enterprises to run and catalogue their APIs anywhere, while centrally uncovering issues and enforcing policies – no matter the underlying environment.
A single source of truth becomes key to the data-driven business
For the last 18 months, the world has been witnessing a data explosion. Organisations looking to integrate, analyse, and act on this data have faced major challenges – from IT complexity, proprietary systems, and data silos to the sheer volume of data now available. To be successfully data-driven in 2022, organisations must break down silos across the enterprise to create a single source of truth.
This requires managing data end‐to‐end, all the way from ingestion and integration through to analytics and the critical decisions it drives. With this in place, business leaders can then look to machine learning and data analytics to make sense of all their data for enhanced decision making. This approach will be key to unlocking enterprise data and empowering teams across the organisation to deliver business value in 2022 and beyond.
“2022 will be the year of composable business,” said Matt McLarty, Global Field CTO & VP of the Digital Transformation Office at MuleSoft. “The pandemic accelerated digital transformation to a huge extent, compelling organisations to quickly enable online customer interactions and remote employees. It was a turning point in the digital age and there is no turning back. Just as the assembly line was the right structure for the manufacturing age, composability–turning business capabilities into reusable, connectable building blocks through APIs–is the right structure for the digital age. Whereas many companies will now spend time and money cleaning up quick fixes from the past two years, composable businesses can innovate with their building blocks by providing integrated user experiences, automated business processes, as well as having enterprise-wide visibility and control through API management. Agility through composability is the only way to sustain digital success.”