Tuesday, 21st January 2020

Modern apps make for better business outcomes

Adopting a modern application architecture is critical to business success and a significant driver of profit growth in today’s digital economy, according to the results of a global survey of 1087 IT and business executives released by CA Technologies and conducted by industry analyst firm Frost & Sullivan.

The new report titled, “What Business Executives are Learning about Software Development and How it is Helping Achieve KPIs” shows that companies that embrace modern application architectures – such as APIs, microservices and containers – in concert with modern development best practices like DevOps, DevSecOps and Agile are better able to continuously and quickly adapt and adjust software applications to changing market trends and customer needs. This, in turn, can positively impact their bottom line.

“In conducting this study, what we found most intriguing was the focus amongst line of business leaders on software development and their willingness to engage budgets and detailed efforts in order to drive results,” said Alexander Michael, director of Consulting at Frost & Sullivan. “Software sits at the heart of most digital transformation projects and businesses are finding it impossible to continue to employ monolithic, legacy applications and remain competitive in the marketplace.”

As more lines of business are impacted by digital transformation, the study reveals a shift as business executives across all geographies, industries and functions take an active role in software decision-making, development and acquisition. In fact, business executives say that three out of the four top challenges faced by their organizations are directly related to digital initiatives, and 84 percent say modernizing the way software and apps are developed and delivered is very important or crucial to the future success of their organization.

“In order to compete in today’s rapidly evolving market, organizations must center their thinking around how every line of business and IT contribute to achieving the company’s digital objectives,” said Ayman Sayed, president and chief product officer at CA Technologies. “A modern application architecture is the foundation that, once in place, provides a platform for more flexible and agile software development, giving organizations the ability to plan and pivot to address customers’ changing business needs.”

Modern Application Architectures Present Benefits and Challenges

According to the study, eight out of ten executives feel that software provides critical support in helping them achieve their KPIs. Organizations participating in the study that were further along in their adoption of modern application architectures and development practices saw impressive benefits, including:

  • Eight times more likely to declare that applications are very good at supporting the achievement of KPIs than those who were relatively low in their adoption of modern application architectures;
  • Seven times more likely to say their apps are completely integrated when it comes to functionality, data sharing, authentication and security;
  • Six times more likely to say their apps are significantly better at delivering business insights than their competitors;
  • And experienced two times higher profit growth.

However, because these organizations are heavily reliant on business-critical applications, more than half of respondents (56 percent) claimed that software issues can negatively affect the achievement of KPIs. In fact, for 69 percent of all respondents, the pressure to release new applications or updates negatively affects quality and security. Furthermore, 67 percent felt that their organization sometimes trades off security for speed.

While APIs, microservices and containers enable faster delivery of applications to market, nine out of 10 of those respondents who claimed to widely utilize modern application architectures stated that it’s challenging to manage and monitor APIs, microservices and containers, and that APIs and microservices are adding new risks to organizations. To mitigate these challenges, businesses view their long-term success through strategic implementation of DevOps, Security and Agile development practices.

Four out of five respondents stated that agile practices are helping them build what customers really need, and in turn, are helping to improve customer satisfaction. Additionally, 80 percent of respondents see continuous application security testing and DevSecOps as critical components to the implementation of a modern application architecture.

To support companies forging a path towards modern application architectures, CA has introduced new innovations and enhancements that help generate powerful insights and improve speed to market of applications, including:

  • New Full Lifecycle API Management solution enhancements, delivering an integrated set of API Management capabilities that enable organizations to seamlessly manage APIs from creation, to test and deployment, to ongoing API security and consumption with real-time monitoring at scale. This comprehensive API Management solution now includes built-in testing and monitoring enhancements like API virtualization to create a virtual API sandbox that enables earlier and more efficient API consumption as well as “Inside-Out & Outside-In API Monitoring,” which delivers end-to-end insights into API performance.
  • Several new enhancements to CA’s end-to-end Continuous Testing portfolio of solutions designed to help companies reduce application life cycle development time and improve the productivity of agile development teams by leveraging the benefits of automated test case creation, instant provisioning of dynamic test environments and automating test data. These product updates include a new Jenkins® plugin for CA Service Virtualization, which allows users to manage virtual services and provision tests directly from their Jenkins UI; Integrated Data Masking Workflows for CA Test Data Manager to help testers and compliance officers more readily discover, tag and mask sensitive PII information to assist in regulatory compliance and reduce risk; and CA Agile Requirements Designer’s Requirements Insights capability, available in beta, which allows business analysts and product owners to more easily visualize and understand dependencies across the different testing requirements and how they are impacted when testing requirements change.
  • The newCA Project & Portfolio Management (CA PPM)helps companies map investments and resources to strategic initiatives with drag-and-drop speed. Using the road-mapping tool, executives can make portfolio changes on the fly to adapt to sudden market fluctuations. CA PPM also simplifies how organizations define, assign and track teams across the entire portfolio. Finally, expanding beyond IT, users can integrate other applications, such as CA Agile Central or Microsoft® Power BI®, with CA PPM to centralize business information for fast and accurate decision making.

“For all organizations, private or public, embracing modern application architectures is a means of remaining strategically, technologically and financially nimble in the digital economy. CA Technologies can help business executives lay the foundation for responsive and adaptive software to become a source of competitive advantage and a driver of success,” concluded Sayed.

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