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Thrive in a software-driven world

15 Jun 2015

As companies transform into software-driven enterprises, bringing high-quality applications to market faster becomes one of the most critical differentiators, according to CA Technologies.

The results of the CA Technologies study, The Battle for Competitive Advantage in the App Economy, reveals 43% of senior business and IT executives believe becoming a software-driven enterprise is a critical driver of competitive advantage today, rising to 78% in three years.

On top of this, increased agility and faster time to market top the list of competitive strategies for companies in the application economy.

More than half of respondents (51%) say they have invested in newer forms of software (mobile apps, API-enabled software, etc.) over the past three years, and nearly as many say they will increase their level of investment over the next three years.

Furthermore, 54% are developing new strategies for customer interactions, 49% are bringing more software development back in-house and 47% have or are planning to use M&A to increase app development capabilities, indicating software’s strategic role, says CA Technologies.

“It’s no longer enough for companies to have superior products or services. Today, success depends upon delivering a superior customer experience,” said Hope Powers, CA Technologies ANZ senior vice president and managing director.

“As companies undergo digital transformation, they must focus on the customer experience since it will be a key differentiator in today's application economy,” she says.

Based on key insights from the data and interviews with respondents, CA Technologies have come up with seven key things companies can do to gain competitive advantage.

Be ready to break things

When organisational change is inevitable, rules may get bent, says CA Technologies.

Nearly half of respondents believe that becoming a more software-driven business has had an impact on time-to-decision, and another 37% say that internal operations have been deeply affected.

Squeeze the value out of data

Respondents say they are proficient at marketing directly to consumers (59% say they are very or highly effective), but few (only 22%) have all the details - like tracking customer preferences - nailed down, says CA Technologies.

Learn to listen

Using social media well is critical to interacting with customers and business partners alike. More than 40% of respondents say it is a must-have skill in the new environment.

One key thing to remember, according to CA Technologies, is that these tools are not just new ways to push information out, they are great ways to capture intelligence as well.

Guard data fiercely - and know what you are protecting

Protecting customer data is a fundamental rule of engagement, and companies are investing in bigger budgets and new tools to get the job done, says CA Technologies.

In fact, the survey shows 60% of respondents say they are spending more to protect customer data, and even more are doing the same to safeguard internal information.

Bring innovation to collaboration

Old barriers do not apply in the application economy. Nearly half of respondents say that bringing together security executives with the heads of business units is enabling new business opportunities.

Give the people what they want

In the app economy, customers expect quick, intuitive interaction. They will not countenance outages, data loss, or downloads that take longer than a few seconds.

With an enormous increase in revenue driven by customer interactions with apps expected in three years, getting this right is an existential necessity, according to CA Technologies.

Remember that culture eats strategy for lunch

Organisational resistance is a given whenever change occurs. Nearly 40% of respondents say the biggest obstacle to becoming more adept at software and application development is a culture that won’t support it, CA Technologies says.

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