Has Your Company Mastered Apps?

App Masters

Smartphones and tablets are now ubiquitous among companies, along with customized apps that monitor everything from customer service to shipping logistics.

Despite that ubiquity, a new report from the Apigee Institute (PDF) insists that enterprise IT is broken, and that the majority of your average C-suite is unable to keep up with the technological changes sweeping pretty much every industry. At the heart of that brokenness, the report adds, is the inability of current data-storage practices and systems to keep pace with the rapid innovations gripping the mobile-apps space.

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For many years, IT administrators built their companies’ technology stacks around the concept of data collection, storage, and retrieval. That’s a solid model if you want to keep records extending back 10 or 15 years, but it’s too slow a setup for delivering information in a decentralized, mobile- and cloud-centric world.

According to the Apigee Institute’s report, companies that have mastered their app infrastructure “have a ‘top gear’ that features an ‘outside-in’ structure and process to maximize their agility and adaptability.” The top gear “enables these companies to deliver competitive systems of engagement, while maintaining a first gear that provides the core competencies and support for stable systems of record.” The “app masters” overseeing these systems have embraced the cloud to the point where they’ve swapped out legacy systems for public-cloud platforms and IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-Service); they’re more willing to work with outside partners to push IT initiatives; and they constantly improve their apps via judicious use of data analytics.

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As part of its research for the report, the Apigee Institute surveyed 800 IT decision-makers at firms claiming more than $500 million in annual revenue. As those decision-makers came from eight geographies, the Institute weighted the data to “proportionally represent each country’s relative share of Forbes’ 2013 Global 2000.” Only 8 percent qualified as “app masters,” while another 36 percent fell into the “app challenged” category. For the latter, the adoption of a new IT model may prove necessary if they want to become better players at the app game.

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Image: Apigee Institute