Future of Work Survey Says: Beware “Technical Debt”—The Danger Zone for Digital Transformation

This article covers Part 2 of a 3 part series on Digital Transformation conducted by Appian and IDG.

To read Part 1, visit: Future of Work Survey Part 1

With the explosion of digital transformation, organizations everywhere are struggling to keep up with demand for enterprise software. The same is true of the business impacts of “technical debt”—the opportunity cost of flawed software that fails to live up to expectations.

The situation is serious. A jaw-dropping 50% of enterprise applications don’t get delivered—or fail to meet expectations.

The opportunity cost of this failure is huge, in terms of increased customer frustration, slower response times to competitive threats, and missed business opportunities.

This is a danger zone for digital transformation.

It’s also the biggest takeaway from the second batch of data in Appian’s Future of Work survey of senior execs in North America and Europe.

Survey Takeaways

Here’s how respondents described the business impacts of technical debt:

Faster, Better Way to Build Enterprise Apps

If your goal is to transform your organization into a company that operates at digital speed, you’re going to need a faster, easier, better way to build enterprise applications.

Bridging this gap is a huge challenge for IT teams, which already spend 50% of their time on coding new applications and major enhancements, according to the Appian survey.

When asked how to mitigate technical debt, more than half (53%) of survey participants said they’d “look for new ways to accelerate application development.”

Which brings us to Appian’s Low-Code approach to enterprise software development.

“If I could boil Appian down into one word,” says Appian Founder and CEO Matt Calkins, “it’d be simplicity.”

Struggling to Keep up With Software Demand?

The magic of Appian is that it makes custom coding simple, and accelerates application development with powerful, easy-to-use, drag-and-drop visual design tools.

With Appian, you draw apps (like flow charts) instead of coding them. This low-code approach gets apps and features to market faster without compromising on quality or customer experience.

In a recent interview with ZDNet, Calkins said that the business opportunities from digital transformation will be won by the first companies to have the apps and infrastructure for business agility.

“Our research shows European enterprises are ahead of U.S. competitors in pushing for real business transformation,” says Calkins. “But all companies must accelerate IT delivery without sacrificing quality or accumulating more technical debt.”

Low-Code: Key to Busting Out of Technical Debt

Demand for new software applications has increased so much that internal development teams across the United States and Europe are no longer able to keep up.

In the U.S., enterprise businesses request an average of 153 new applications and major feature developments from IT per year.

In contrast, European enterprises average 230 requests for new applications or features per year. Additionally, the Future of Work survey also reveals:

  • 40% of development time is spent dealing with ‘technical debt’
  • 47% of respondents said this reduced performance and scalability
  • 52% of respondents said it delayed simple software upgrades
  • 55% said technical debt led to higher operational costs

What it all comes down to is this. Enterprises are piling up technical debt.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Learn more about how technical debt is holding your organization back, and how low-code development can help.

Download Appian’s Future of Work Survey Report #2.