Companies Battle to Push Out New Applications at an Accelerated Pace

Posted 6/12/2015 3:48:45 PM by STUART PARKERSON, Publisher Emeritus

Companies Battle to Push Out New Applications at an Accelerated Pace
A new study of companies across the globe indicates that enterprise are paying close attention to the need to create better and more expansive applications and do so at a faster rate than ever before.

The study was commissioned by CA Technologies and conducted by Oxford Economics. It surveyed 200 senior business and IT executives with knowledge of and responsibility for their company’s advanced software strategies. The respondents came from the Americas (56 percent), Europe (29 percent) and Asia (15 percent), and included industries ranging from manufacturing and professional services to retail, consumer products, financial services, energy, and healthcare.

The results show that companies are adapting to the application economy at a rapid and accelerating pace, and are rethinking competitive advantage and differentiation in the process. Forty three percent of those surveyed believe that becoming a software-driven enterprise is a critical driver of competitive advantage today, rising to 78 percent in three years. For respondents who have already begun adopting more advanced software strategies, this transformation is having an impact on their time to decision: 45 percent claim this today, and 61 percent expect it to be the case in the next three years.  

Also according to the study, becoming a more software-driven business also has a positive impact on market share (47 percent), the development of new products and services (42 percent), and financial performance (36 percent) - all trends that respondents see accelerating. Additional findings include:

- More than half of respondents (51 percent) say they have invested in newer forms of software (mobile apps, API-enabled software, etc.) over the past three years, and nearly as many say they will increase their level of investment over the next three years.

- 54 percent are developing new strategies for customer interactions.

- 49 percent of respondents are bringing more software development back in-house and 47 percent have or are planning to use M&A to increase app development capabilities, indicating software’s strategic role.

CA points to these insights that companies can take from the study:

- Be ready to break things: When organizational change is inevitable, rules may get bent. Nearly half of respondents believe that becoming a more software-driven business has had an impact on time-to-decision, and another 37 percent say that internal operations have been deeply affected. 

- Squeeze the value out of data: Respondents say they are proficient at marketing directly to consumers (59 percent say they are very or highly effective), but few (only 22 percent) have all the details, such as tracking customer preferences, nailed down.  
- Learn to listen: Using social media well is critical to interacting with customers and business partners alike. More than 40 percent of respondents say it is a must-have skill in the new environment. One key thing to remember is that these tools are not just new ways to push information out - they are great ways to capture intelligence as well.

- Guard data fiercely - and know what you are protecting: Protecting customer data is a fundamental rule of engagement, and companies are investing in bigger budgets and new tools to get the job done. Sixty percent of respondents say they are spending more to protect customer data, and even more are doing the same to safeguard internal information.

- Bring innovation to collaboration: Old barriers do not apply in the application economy. Nearly half of respondents say that bringing together security executives with the heads of business units is enabling new business opportunities.

- Give the people what they want: In the app economy, customers expect quick, intuitive interaction. They will not countenance outages, data loss, or downloads that take longer than a few seconds. With an enormous increase in revenue driven by customer interactions with apps expected in three years, getting this right is an existential necessity. 

- Remember that culture eats strategy for lunch: Organizational resistance is a given whenever change occurs. Nearly 40 percent of respondents say the biggest obstacle to becoming more adept at software and application development is a culture that won’t support it.

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About the author: STUART PARKERSON, Publisher Emeritus

Stuart Parkerson has an extensive background in niche technology publishing.

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