Just a decade ago, the world’s biggest companies were the likes of General Electric, Royal Dutch Shell, ExxonMobil and CitiGroup. While a couple from that Top 10 list have survived, today the list features no less than six technology firms: Apple, Alphabet, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook and China Mobile.
Many of the industrial, energy and financial giants of yesteryear have been relegated to the second tier, as new “pure-play” digital enterprises scale dramatically and reach astonishing heights. Uber’s valuation – for instance – rocketed from under $5bn in 2013, to $60bn today. Now, everyone is scrambling to digitise as quickly as these giants have managed to.
The failure to transform digitally is often listed as a reason why half of Fortune 500 companies have disappeared. These dramatic shifts reflect a new Darwinian reality: today’s winning companies are those that can digitally-evolve faster. Velocity is clearly the name of the game.
But if this is ‘survival of the fittest’, just why are so many organisations struggling with the concept of digitisation? To understand more, we can turn to OutSystems annual ‘State of Application Development 2017’ research report, which revealed some interesting findings:
- Demand for application development has surged, creating a capacity crisis within most IT departments. Gartner predicts that demand will grow at least five times faster than IT’s capacity to deliver, over the coming few years.
- Integration into existing architecture remains a thorn in the side of the IT department, adding to the complexity, cost and timeframes for successful app deployment.
- Incorporating mobility into existing and future apps are becoming critical for business.
- Serving the demand is made more difficult by severe skills shortages, making it tough to attract and retain quality developers at reasonable rates.
- Backlogs are huge and continue to build up (62% of the companies surveyed reported long application backlogs, with some waiting on more than 10 apps to be developed)
- Development timeframes are too long for business’ liking – with over three-quarters of respondents reporting that custom apps take at least 3 months to build.
- Even the majority of IT pros surveyed were not satisfied with the speed at which apps are developed.
- Despite this backlog, the developers themselves believe they are already operating at full capacity.
Rather than let these challenges overwhelm them, today’s most progressive organisations are turning to new digital tools, low-code development platforms, and the phenomenon of ‘citizen developers’ to tackle the problems.
Perhaps the most interesting finding from the report was the continued decline of traditional native app development as the preferred approach (at just 17%). More and more IT pros are turning to hybrid or responsive web-based development, as rapid advancements in the HTML language continue to blur the lines between native app and responsive web.
This is spurring the trend of ‘citizen’ (or, non-professional) developers, as the development workload is spread to company employees from different professional backgrounds and less defined technical skills – including business analysts and Excel or Lotus power users – can now easily work within low-code, visual programming platforms.
Low code empowers your company to build, deploy and continually improve employee and customer-facing applications across multiple channels- as native apps for mobile devices or as responsive websites for desktop and tablet users.
By using the right tools, you can make existing resources exponentially more productive; you can break free of the frustrations, from the costs, complexities, tall backlogs, long dev times, tough integrations as well as resource constraints.
It means you get to spend more time on what really matters – engaging with customers,
Find out how you can accelerate digital transformation – Click here to download OutSystems State of Application Development Report