Every business in the Australian 'app economy' is now a software company and custom-built apps are now fundamental to any organisation's success.
That's according to CA Technologies' managing director, ANZ, Hope Powers, who delivered a keynote speech at the CA Technologies Expo in Sydney.
The statement coincides with the release of a study, The Geeks Were Right: How to Thrive in the Application Economy, which revealed that 72 per cent of Australian business leaders believe that custom-built applications are either very strategically important or fundamental to success.
It found that 80 per cent of Australian businesses anticipate an increase in the number of application releases from within the organisation in the next two years, while more than 60 per cent of of those surveyed say that customer demand is the key driver for application refinement and development.
Powers said application developers can have a direct impact on increasing customer loyalty, driving brand awareness and improving customer engagement, which all lead to increased revenue.
"Suddenly IT has become more visible and more important than ever,” she said.
However, only 30 per cent of those surveyed said they were ready to meet those expectations as they were either only just exploring the application economy or didn't currently have a strategy in place.
Australian business leaders identified the barriers to application development and growth as cost and financial considerations (67 per cent), people (42 per cent) and process (30 per cent). Likewise, a lack of time and resources, security and a skills shortage were highlighted as the main risk factors associated with application development.
According to the study, to gain a true competitive advantage, CIOs must embrace the application economy by giving their developers the tools, skills and creative environment to build innovative applications that delight customers.
Those organisations that increase the autonomy of application developers to be creative (full autonomy is as low as 19 per cent), will reap the rewards in a wider business context.
Powers said that every company must be a software company and application developers were the pioneers of this new frontier.
“Now is the time for CIOs to unleash the creativity of their application developers to design innovative applications that drive first-mover advantage. Turns out, the geeks were right!”