Survey: Digital Transformation Expected to Fuel – Not Curb – Job Creation

April 4, 2017

Despite disagreement over what the future of automation will look like, 77 percent of IT leaders report digital transformation is a job creator and 83 percent say it is key to improving employee productivity


RESTON, VA — April 4, 2017 — When it comes to organizational impact, IT leaders expect their organization will add jobs over the next three to five years due to new projects (72 percent) and new technologies (69 percent) for digital transformation*, according to a YouGov survey commissioned by Appian. Even more, 77 percent of IT leaders report digital transformation is a job creator.  The survey results were announced today at Appian World in San Francisco, California.

Coming at a time when Forrester predicts that by 2025, technologies like robots, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and automation will replace 7 percent of jobs (or 22.7 million) in the US alone, YouGov surveyed more than 500 Information Technology Decision Makers (ITDMs) to understand their perspectives on digital transformation.

Investment areas for digital transformation are radically changing in the enterprise

These changing investment strategies represent a more holistic approach to IT innovation to drive value for both customers and employees. The survey results indicate that significant majorities of IT leaders believe investment in digital transformation plays a fundamental role for both operations and employees amid increased competitive pressure.

  • 85 percent of IT leaders report investments in digital transformation are expanding past the front lines (e.g., marketing and sales) and into core operations (e.g., business operations and operational agility)
  • 77 percent of IT leaders agree investments in digital transformation to improve operational agility are top of mind for senior leadership
  • 83 percent believe digital transformation investments are key to improving employee productivity

Effective integration of emerging technologies poses real challenges

There are several challenges when it comes to integrating new technologies, such as machine learning, which require specialized application development and data mining skills which are increasingly expensive and hard to find. This proves to be a real concern given the demand is increasing and the skills shortage is not shrinking fast enough to meet company needs.

  • 93 percent of IT leaders report the demand for new and innovative business applications will increase over the next 3 to 5 years
  • 76 percent cited a growing lack of IT skills in deploying emerging technologies is hindering digital transformation

“In 2017, the world wants more software per developer than ever before,” said Matt Calkins, Appian CEO. “We need productivity accelerators, like low-code platforms, to overcome the disparity between supply and demand.”

The risks of falling behind are real, if companies do not focus on investing in diversifying workforce skills and effective integration of new technologies across the enterprise. The majority of IT leaders surveyed (88 percent) believe organizations not deploying new and emerging technologies* risk losing potential revenue.

*For the purpose of this survey, digital transformation was defined as using digital technological solutions and software application platforms to improve corporate performance and competitiveness, and emerging technologies were defined to include artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Click download to get the full survey report.

Survey Methodology*

A 3-Question online omnibus survey was fielded among 505 Information Technology Decision Makers (ITDMs) in March 2017 to understand ITDMs’ perspectives on digital transformation (i.e., using digital technological solutions and software application platforms to improve corporate performance and competitiveness) and emerging technologies (e.g., artificial intelligence, machine learning).  ITDMs were identified as those working full time who have IT decision making authority at companies with more than 20 employees. The online omnibus survey was fielded by YouGov.

For complete survey methodology, please click here to get the full survey report.

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.