Leaders who are investing in new innovation and development capabilities are growing revenue at more than twice the rate of laggards, creating an application divide in the marketplace, according to a survey of 1,450 senior business leaders across 13 countries.
The study, commissioned by CA Technologies, found more than 50 percent of companies surveyed either have made, or will make in the next year, an acquisition specifically to add talent and strengthen their development capabilities.
Enterprises responding to the rapid changes brought about by the accelerating application economy are bringing more software development back in-house (from 33 percent to 44 percent).
"The application economy is having broad, pervasive impact on enterprise strategy, and it is senior management’s job to put in place the organizational transformation needed," John Michelsen, chief technology officer at CA Technologies, told eWEEK. "While a strategic IT overhaul may seem expensive or difficult, companies who refuse to adapt to the new application economy will continue to lag behind."
In addition, 94 percent of Line of Business (LOB) executives are facing increased pressure to release applications more quickly to satisfy consumer demand, with 51 percent of businesses surveyed having released at least four customer-facing applications in the last year alone.
Despite this rate of application delivery, only 15 percent of LOB executives are completely satisfied with IT’s speed in delivering new applications or services.
"The big danger is that overall application quality, and the resulting user experience, will suffer," Michelsen explained. "In the application economy, it only takes a second for a consumer to abandon their chosen app if they experience the slightest problem, and you might never get them back."
The survey also suggested businesses face internal obstacles in addressing the application economy, with 25 percent of the senior IT leaders surveyed saying that there was a lack of understanding of the impact and benefits of the application economy at the senior level.
Just more than one-quarter (26 percent) said there was a lack of knowledge and skills, while 24 percent said that there were cultural issues.
Security is seen as a business enabler–not as a roadblock to growth, with 47 percent of leaders experiencing increased revenue from new services enabled by security.
In fact, the study predicts that one-quarter of all IT spending will be devoted to security over the next three years.
"The application economy is forcing enterprises to cope with a dramatic expansion of mobile-based access to their data and systems, giving rise to the need for new approaches to security which will enable these new business opportunities–rather than restrict them," Michelsen said. "The study found that leaders in this new economy are using security as a business enabler, rather than just a way to control access."