Survey: Digital Transformation Challenged by Scalability, Lack of Resources, and Application Backlog

January 30, 2018

Findings show organizations overwhelmed by mounting technical debt and the number of software applications needed to support changing IT environments

RESTON, Va., — Appian (NASDAQ:APPN), a leading low-code and business process management platform provider, today announced survey results from IT and executive leadership about the current state of digital transformation and projections for the next 12 months. The findings show that despite optimism about digitizing enterprise environments, organizations face significant challenges in meeting business demand, achieving competitive differentiation, and driving innovation.

The Digital Transformation Readiness Survey, sponsored by Appian and conducted by, shows that organizations are excited about their digital transformation prospects in the coming years. When asked for the top areas companies are driving toward, data shows:

  • Artificial intelligence and machine learning (93 percent)
  • Internet of Things (76 percent)
  • Natural language processing (58 percent)

On the other hand, organizations feel understaffed and overwhelmed when it comes to delivering the software applications that will support the desired business transformations. Primary obstacles to transformation readiness were identified as:

  • Inability to support the future of work; 72 percent of respondents don’t believe they’ll be able to scale their efforts to keep up with business requirements in the coming years
  • Pressure to fix issues quickly rather than fix them right: 91 percent of organizations struggle with growing technical debt that has accumulated over time in a myriad of ways
  • Shortage of skilled workers; 82 percent of organizations can’t attract and retain the quality and quantity of software engineers required

In the digital economy, organizations are under relentless pressure to keep up with new customer expectations and fast-moving digital trends. As organizations seek to transform with digital technologies, low-code development presents a tremendous opportunity to solve readiness deficiencies.

Issues such as application backlog present a significant challenge for businesses dealing with time constraints and increasing workloads. IT teams are so buried in yesterday’s work that they barely have a chance to think about the challenges of today and tomorrow. More than 61 percent of respondents are burdened with more than 10 new applications or major feature requests waiting on the backburner of their application backlog. More than 1 in 5 respondents have a staggering 50 or more major application development requests waiting to be fulfilled.

Low-code development platforms play an important role in helping organizations address these pain points with simplicity. The Appian Platform provides IT and business teams an easy way to translate ideas into powerful software applications quickly, with minimal technical debt. By accelerating the delivery of innovative business capabilities and creating a more flexible IT infrastructure, Appian provides a proven foundation for the execution of enterprise-wide digital transformation strategies.

“Businesses lack the resources required to create the unique applications they need,” said Matt Calkins, CEO of Appian. “Low-code platforms fill that gap by simplifying development and deployment. With Appian, organizations can rapidly create powerful applications that allow business leaders to embrace digital transformation rather than fear it.”

To view a complimentary copy of the study, click here.

About Appian

Appian provides a low-code automation platform that accelerates the creation of high-impact business applications. Many of the world’s largest organizations use Appian applications to improve customer experience, achieve operational excellence, and simplify global risk management and compliance.