Reprogramming The Enterprise: Keeping Pace with the Speed of Innovation
July 19, 2022

Asanka Abeysinghe

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When the world changes, enterprises must change too. Today's IT teams are rethinking technology and rewriting the rules for driving digital innovation, managing team culture, and most importantly delivering engaging digital experiences for their customers.

In a recent survey of 500 IT decision-makers, 85% agree that there is an urgent shift towards focusing on consumers' digital experiences. Moreover, 73% of respondents say that the move to focus on the digital experience in their organization was sudden. The survey was conducted for a new report from WSO2, Reprogramming the Enterprise: Keeping Pace with the Wave of Innovation. The survey of 500 IT professionals included IT decision-makers and IT architects at organizations in the United States with 250 or more employees. Most of the decision-makers surveyed indicate that the accelerated use of digital channels is reshaping both their organizational and technology strategies.

Improving Customers' Digital Experiences

How well do enterprises understand customer's digital experiences? It depends on who you ask. Among C-level executives, 52% say their organization understands its customers' digital experiences extremely well compared to 30% of directors and 22% of managers. The responses suggest a possible disconnect between top decision-makers and those who are more closely involved with improving customers' experiences on a daily basis.

However, the vast majority of IT decision-makers agree that four factors are crucial to their organizations' digital evolution and key to driving better digital experiences, as well as gaining and maintaining a competitive advantage: giving consumers greater protection (90%), cloud adoption (89%), API integration (82%), and providing consumers with greater control over their information (81%).

Proven Ways to Accelerate Innovation

"Maturing our cloud-native development capabilities" was the single most frequently listed opportunity for accelerating innovation over the next 12 months, with 63% of decision-makers identifying cloud-native development as the skill their organization is most in need of. At the same time, nearly 7 in 10 IT decision-makers, whose developer teams are using low-code/no-code development tools, report having a faster pace of innovation and the ability to implement new ideas within a few days or a few weeks.

Developing Talent Across the Board

For many survey respondents, the ability to rapidly deliver innovative digital experiences is becoming a critical factor in their ability to compete. Cloud-native benefits, such as scale, resilience, and agility, are integral to the experience, but not easy to achieve. Automating deployment is also essential but adds a complexity of its own. Developers, especially those with these skills, are in short supply and need better tools to compete and succeed.

The push to accelerate innovation is putting additional pressure on enterprises already facing a shortage of software developers which has worsened by the recent "Great Resignation." The report found that with the ongoing talent shortage, 51% of IT decision-makers stated it had negatively impacted their business. In fact, over half (54%) of respondents say that the shortage of developers has delayed projects and reduced productivity while 48% report that it has slowed the pace of innovation.

To address the shortage, enterprises are relying on a combination of staffing, professional development, and technology strategies. Among IT decision-makers, 40% report that they are increasing automation, and 87% think it is likely that more non-developers will use low-code or no-code development tools over the next three years.

Meanwhile, 54% of respondents say their organization is training other employees on developer skills, and 65% identify cloud-native development as the developer skill their organization is most in need of. Increased recruitment efforts and initiatives, such as remote working and more generous hiring packages, are all seen as options to combat the impacts of the talent shortage.

While a majority of 500 IT decision-makers agree on the priority of delivering digital experiences, the survey revealed gaps in organizational readiness. The results highlight the factors that organizations must consider as they deliver innovative and differentiated digital experiences for their customers.

Asanka Abeysinghe is Chief Technology Evangelist at WSO2
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