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Press Release

Future of Work Survey: IT Culture and Business Alignment Most Significant Barriers for Digital Transformation

Appian Contributor
October 2, 2018

RESTON, Va. – Appian (NASDAQ: APPN), a leading enterprise low-code and business process management (BPM) platform provider, today announced IT leadership survey data that highlights the cultural and technical roadblocks related to digital transformation for enterprise companies. The findings, the first in a series of data sourced from Appian’s Future of Work survey, emphasize the primary challenges are not technical, but instead relate to culture and collaboration among IT departments.


Sponsored by Appian and conducted by IDG, the initial Future of Work survey data shows that the two priority business goals for digital transformation (Dx) are improving customer experience (39 percent) and improving operational excellence (35 percent). While companies are optimistic about the promises of Dx, the survey reveals that the most significant barriers to successful digital are not directly related to the availability of technology skills or budget:

  • Cultural impediments to change are major barriers to digital success – Cultural challenges, including risk aversion and adherence to the status quo, were identified as the #1 impediment to Dx (43 percent).
  • There’s a disconnect between business and IT leadership – More than a quarter of respondents believe there is a lack of collaboration between the IT leadership and business groups that directly impacts organizational ability to embrace digital.
  • Managing change has had a significant impact on IT culture – IT departments are struggling keep up with the rapid pace of technological advancements. Major challenges include adapting to new technologies (81 percent), finding ways to evolve(79 percent), required to evolve faster due to competitive business (75 percent), and integrating cloud and security technologies (75 percent).
  • Better training and collaboration would help – Critical components for improving collaboration include better employee training (83 percent), redefining business processes (77 percent), and investing in the future while continuing to support existing needs (77 percent).

To succeed in digital transformation, there needs to be better alignment of IT and business goals with increased collaboration that fosters a culture of innovation. Data shows another key element for success includes adopting new technology (83 percent):

  • Intelligent Automation will have a major impact on the enterprise in the year ahead. Three-in-four organizations have either deployed or plan to deploy intelligent automation technology in the next year.
  • Machine Learning is the most commonly deployed form of intelligent automation. 54 percent of respondents have currently deployed machine learning in larger organization, and 41 percent are planning to implement the technology in the next year.

Appian’s enterprise low-code platform empowers companies with an easy-to-use drag-and-drop interface for quickly and efficiently building powerful applications in an industrial-strength and secure cloud environment. It provides IT and business teams a collaborative environment to easily translate ideas into powerful software applications quickly. The platform’s intelligent automation capabilities allow companies to easily integrate technologies such as robotic process automation (RPA), artificial intelligence, and machine learning.

“Businesses must achieve internal alignment and accelerate delivery to support the improvement of customer experiences,” said Matt Calkins CEO of Appian. “With the Appian platform, enterprise IT and business leaders are able to create powerful applications that rapidly adapt to customer needs.”


The Future of Work survey, conducted by IDG, gathered responses between August and September 2018. Respondents comprised of 500 senior level IT executives at companies with over 1000 employees. Half of the respondents were U.S. based, while the other half were from the UK. To qualify for the survey, respondents also had to be undergoing digital transformation efforts for at least one year.

To view a complimentary copy of the study, click here.

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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