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Press Release

New Survey: Company Investments in Digital Business Transformation Far-Off, Despite Leaders Ambitious Plans

Appian Contributor
May 10, 2016

Only 14 percent have fully migrated in all intended technology investment areas; More than half say custom software is key to achieving full transformation

RESTON, Va. — May 10, 2016 — When it comes to their digital business transformation plans, only 14 percent of business executives have fully migrated their companies to all intended areas, according to a new report announced today. Nearly half (48 percent) reported their company has migrated in some intended areas but not all, shows the YouGov survey commissioned by Appian.

The online survey fielded more than 400 business executives (C-level, head of division leaders, etc.) in companies with more than $1 billion revenue to understand their perspectives on their company’s digital business transformation plans, defined as using digital technologies solutions and software application platforms to improve corporate performance and competiveness.

The survey findings spotlight several potential challenges for business executives in achieving their digital business transformation plans. Top concerns about their companies’ investment in technology include data security (62 percent), technology performance (55 percent), the customer experience (48 percent) and the flexibility of their technological infrastructure (42 percent).

“The survey results clearly show CIOs are unwilling to compromise on their digital transformation efforts,” said Michael Beckley, Appian co-founder and Chief Technology Officer. “They want to know their data remains secure even as their applications move to the public cloud and they insist on the speed and quality of delivery that only low-code, agile, business process platforms can provide.”

While 69 percent of business executives surveyed believe custom software solutions are key to achieving a digital transformation, barriers exist to creating custom applications. Among them:

  • Constantly-evolving business requirements (38 percent)
  • Integration across data sources (37 percent)
  • Long development cycles (35 percent)

Among the technology issues business executives’ companies hope to address in 2016, more than one-third (37 percent) reported ongoing maintenance of software / applications, followed by glitches in software / applications (31 percent) and too many application and data silos (28 percent).

Top priorities driving the digital business transformation plans

The top three priorities business executives say drive their company’s technology investments are data management (43 percent), enterprise wide collaboration (33 percent) and custom software solutions (31 percent). This is followed by hybrid cloud solutions (25 percent), broad enterprise mobility (25 percent) and agile software development (24 percent).

Custom Software is Key to Customer and Employee Engagement

Just over seven in ten (72 percent) business executives believe custom software is strategically important to customer and employee engagement, per the survey. Specifically, custom software applications enable a personalized customer experience with three in four business executives (75 percent) agreeing.

However, business executives see challenges in creating custom software applications, including:

  • Lack of communication between business and IT (27 percent);
  • Applications are hard to adapt/update over time (27 percent);
  • Enabling enterprise collaboration (22 percent);
  • Solutions are hard to use / not intuitive (19 percent)

Click here to get the full survey report.

Survey Methodology*

A custom survey was fielded among 422 Business Executives between April 1st – 12th, 2016 to understand their perspectives on custom software, hybrid cloud, and digital business transformation. Business Executives were identified as U.S. senior executives (C-level, chairman, head of a division) working full or part-time at companies with $1B or more in revenue in diverse industries, services, location, and work force size. The survey was fielded online by YouGov.

For complete survey methodology, please click here to get the full survey report.

About Appian

Appian is a software company that automates business processes. The Appian AI Process Platform includes everything you need to design, automate, and optimize even the most complex processes, from start to finish. The world's most innovative organizations trust Appian to improve their workflows, unify data, and optimize operations—resulting in better growth and superior customer experiences.

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