“When’s that new app going to be finished?”

This question—which IT decision makers heard time and again from their CEOs and COOs in 2020—won’t go away in 2021. Neither will the eye rolls from stressed-out senior executives who want that new app to hit the market yesterday in response to pressure from board members, shareholders or competitors.

If you regularly find yourself defending your IT team's speed, it may be wise to dig a little bit deeper. After all, you’ll need to find the root cause of app delivery delays before your team can embrace fast and flexible development methodologies, low-code tools, and other modern workflows that can take your apps from concept to delivery in a matter of weeks.

We want to help your team work as efficiently as possible. So, we’ve polished off our crystal ball, taken a look into 2021, and found a few key trends. You can use them to help plan for the 12 months ahead, unearth what’s causing your app delivery delays, get apps to market faster and turn your executives’ eye rolls into satisfied grins.

The Need for Speed

The exponential pace of growth and change left many IT teams winded in 2020. Ready for a nap? Not yet! That’s because 2021 promises more of the same. Here’s what the experts say businesses should expect:

  1. Work from home is here to stay. In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic forced companies and their employees to embrace remote work. In 2021, most companies will continue to ask employees to work from home, even if and when the pandemic eases. That’s because companies have found that remote work improves employees’ productivity, enhances the ability to attract and retain the best talent nationally, and saves money on commercial real estate, according to ZD.net.
  2. Remote workers love apps. In 2020, AppAnnie reported a 200% surge in business app usage due to the work-from-home revolution. And companies plan to meet their workers’ needs. According to a TechRepublic survey, 26% of leaders plan to spend more in 2021 on remote technologies that enable employees to work from home productively.
  3. Users expect new apps now. Companies will be asking IT teams to deliver more apps in 2021, and to do it even faster. According to ZD.net, 50% of line-of-business users are already frustrated with the speed at which their IT departments can deliver projects. Cue the eye rolls!

Finding the Root Cause of App Delivery Delays

Now that you know the intense pressure IT teams will face in 2021, it’s time to figure out what’s truly leading to app delivery delays.

Last year, 2,200 IT professionals and senior IT leaders told us how adaptable their organizations are in the face of disruption. We compiled their answers in our special report, The Speed of Change. It revealed that only 21% of respondents felt they could beat their peers and competitors in speed and agility.

Respondents also revealed their top two causes for app delivery delays:

  1. Legacy system integration/lacking APIs
  2. Fuzzy/changing requirements

We separated respondents into leaders and laggards, and found that the third and fourth most common causes of app delays differed between them. Leaders listed delays that reflected their clear focus on the end user. Laggards listed internal pain points that make it next to impossible for them to move fast.

How to Move More Rapidly

No matter where your IT team stands in its ability to move quickly, 2021 offers a prime time to ask yourself—and your team—some key questions:

  • What’s expected of my IT team in 2021?
  • How quickly can we deliver applications and solutions?
  • How do our delivery times compare to those of our competitors?
  • What tools and methods are we using to become faster and better?

Separate Your IT Team from the Pack

Discover how your answers stack up against other businesses in The Speed of Change report. Get details about what separates leaders from laggards, uncover their top application delivery challenges, and learn five steps you can take right now to be a leader.

Speed of change report