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What’s Behind IT’s Inability to Deliver? [Research]

on December 19, 2014

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Pressure is growing for IT teams as companies look to transform their business with new multi-channel and customer-facing apps. And while we’re all scrambling to digitize our businesses, it’s important to consider your IT team’s ability to manage this transition.

The App Delivery Chasm report illustrates the growing hazards obstructing IT departments and impeding app delivery. Today, IT teams face a chasm unlike ever before—where app demand is more urgent and expansive and where app delivery seems unmanageable. In fact, 71% of IT teams aren’t equipped to handle business demand for custom applications.

And more than two-thirds of companies fail to consistently meet a number of important success factors. These include delivering apps on-time, delivering apps on-budget, meeting business requirements, and producing business value.

In a snapshot, demand is growing, IT is lagging, and backlogs aren’t going anywhere.

Related Resource: The App Delivery Chasm Report
111914 App Delivery Chasm Infographic

But these challenges are the result of many factors, two of which I explore in this post.

First, an overwhelming majority of IT teams cite unnecessary infrastructure concerns as a distraction from development. And these distractions came in the form of three main complaints. The most common issues include a lack of required development tools, an inability to create and share working prototypes for end-user feedback, and a lack of integrated deployment environments, cited by 74%, 75% and 75% of IT respondents respectively.

The lack of proper development environments means that IT teams must prioritize system needs over business needs. With more modern platforms that make it easier to acquire end user feedback or produce working prototypes through one-click deployment, IT could better collaborate with business stakeholders to validate and refine requirements and iterate towards production-ready apps. Unfortunately, in today’s current state of delivery, IT spends less time focused on solving the business problem(s) at hand.

Second, when asked about their development tools and methodologies, one common theme emerged from our study: legacy approaches persist. Standard programming languages (e.g. .NET and Java) and languages around enterprise systems (e.g. SAP ABAP and Oracle ADF) were the most common development tools, collectively accounting for 78% of respondents.

graph-primary-dev-tool

It’s apparent that traditional tools aren’t sufficient for delivering new innovative and differentiating apps in a fast or flexible enough manner. While there is still a time and place for these tools, a more seamless development system would help IT manage the complete application life cycle, leaving more time for IT to engage the business on a deeper level, shape stronger requirements, and produce apps faster.

Digitalization means moving beyond constraints

The bottom line, IT is suffering in part because the team does not have the appropriate tools to work in today’s ever-changing, digital world. Without the right tools to support rapid, iterative development, delivery will never meet demand. But infrastructure is just one part of the solution; the survey also reveals additional strategies to help cross the app chasm.

Until we remedy the issues behind IT’s delivery problem, we’ll never improve results. And every day, the business is under greater pressure than ever before. IT has an opportunity to take charge and be the heroes behind rapid development and innovation.

However, innovation is not easy. It requires fast and frequent adjustment. Missing a go-live deadline has the potential for severe consequences. The market demands more for each business, and there are more companies competing for market share. Now, more than ever before, IT needs modern tools and strategies.

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