The Stack Archive News Article

IT teams struggling to meet digital transformation demands

Wed 31 Jan 2018

Organisations are keen to move ahead with digital transformation projects but most currently do not have the capacity to do so, according to the results of a survey.

The results of the Digital Transformation Readiness Survey, sponsored by Appian and conducted by DevOps.com, found that many organisations do not feel they are able to meet the IT demands that the business requires.

Although many have plans to pursue innovative and emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning (93%), Internet of Things (76%), and natural language processing (58%), the reality of their ability to deliver these is somewhat different.

IT and executive leaders from the surveyed companies said that their organisations are ‘understaffed and overwhelmed’ by the level of work required to deliver the applications that are necessary to support the desired business transformation.

Scaling their workload is seen as a primary problem – 72% of survey respondents said they don’t think they’ll be able to scale up sufficiently to keep up with business requirements in the next few years.

Many also face a mounting pile of technical debt. 91% of businesses stated that the pressure to fix problems quickly, rather than properly, means there is now significant work to be done in order to fix past problems that were only given temporary solutions.

There is a major pressure for businesses to keep up with the latest digital trends and pursue digital transformation programs. This pressure means that IT teams are getting buried in massive workloads, and are unable to work on present-day problems, let alone future ones.

The survey showed that 61% of respondents have at least ten applications or major feature requests in their backlog. More than a fifth had over 50 requests waiting to be fulfilled.

Appian CEO, Matt Calkins, suggests using low-code platforms. “Businesses lack the resources required to create the unique applications they need. Low-code platforms fill that gap by simplifying development and deployment, which allows organisations to rapidly create powerful applications that allow business leaders to embrace digital transformation rather than fear it.”

Many IT departments, it seems, are struggling to keep their heads above water, let alone move forward and provide value to the business. According to the results of the study, when factoring in backlog and average completion time, the average wait time for a project is between four and seven months. That means that a faster-moving competitor could have a time advantage of at least a full financial quarter.

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