New Research from OutSystems Highlights Critical Gaps in Enterprise Digital Transformation

ATLANTA and BOSTON -  19 June 2018

Global survey of 3,500 IT professionals identifies major trends in application development, agile/devops maturity, and low-code adoption

OutSystems today published its fifth annual research report on the state of application development and the challenges faced by application development and delivery teams. The State of Application Development, 2018 (How IT Is Responding to Digital Disruption and Innovation) unveils detailed survey results from over 3,500 IT professionals in all industries across the world.

“Our 2018 research makes it clear - IT departments are at a crisis point when it comes to digital transformation and application development,” said Steve Rotter, CMO at OutSystems. “The high failure rate of digital transformation projects, increasing project backlogs, and the scarcity of developer talent are critical concerns.

The new research report provides in-depth insights from IT managers, enterprise architects, and developers addressing a wide range of issues. Digital transformation dominates business strategy today, which is why web and multiexperience development demand is booming. Moreover, speed and agility are more important than ever before.

“In a world that is changing at breakneck speed, it is crucial to identify and respond to digital innovation opportunities more quickly than your competitors. To get to market first, you need the courage for rapid experimentation. It is these dynamics that place low-code platforms like OutSystems at the top of the CIO’s agenda in 2018,” explains Rotter.

This OutSystems report explores the priorities and challenges of application development and delivery and the strategies that IT teams are using to try and speed up delivery.

Six key findings that impact every IT professional:

  • Demand for app dev at all-time high: The number of applications slated for delivery in 2018 is higher than ever, with 42 percent of IT professionals saying they plan to deliver 10 or more apps, and 21 percent planning to deliver 25 or more apps in 2018.
  • Excessive development time: 47 percent of respondents said the average time to deliver a web or mobile application is five months or more. 
  • Backlogs remain stubbornly high: 65 percent of IT professionals said they have an app dev backlog, and only 32 percent said their app dev backlog had improved in the past year.
  • Skilled developers are hard to hire: 80 percent of respondents described app dev talent as scarce, with hiring taking longer and costing more.
  • Agile and DevOps practices are slow to mature: 60 percent of organizations have invested in agile tools and services in the past year. However, the average agile-maturity score was a lackluster 2.6 out of five. Of the 40 percent of organizations who said they invested in DevOps tools and services during the past year, their DevOps maturity was described as somewhere between “just starting” and “fundamental.”
  • Customer-centricity is on the rise: 52 percent of organizations have invested in customer-centric practices in the past year, including customer journey mapping, design thinking, and lean UX. For the new apps slated for development in 2018, those that will be used directly by customers or business partners were identified as most important, out-scoring internal business applications by 14 percent.

Low-code Is Becoming Mainstream

Another key research finding was that low-code is no longer just for innovators and early adopters. For example, 34 percent of respondents said their organization was already using a low-code platform. And, a further 9 percent said they were about to start using one. 

The analysis in the report identified that organizations using low-code are:

  • 21 percent more likely to describe their organization as happy or somewhat happy with the speed of application development
  • 15 percent more likely to deliver applications in four months or less
  • 15 percent more likely to score their agile maturity as level 3, 4, or 5
  • 10 percent more likely to score their DevOps maturity as level 3, 4, or 5
  • Nearly three times more likely to say they have no app dev backlog
  • Three times more likely to describe citizen development as tightly governed

To download a copy of the full report, click here.

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