REPORT: Software-driven businesses will have an even greater competitive advantage in the next few years

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Whether you’re thinking of taking a holiday, hiring a cleaner or trying to get home after a few post-work drinks, chances are you’ll use an app to do it. This trend is already disrupting industries everywhere, from AirBnB’s impact on the hotel industry to Uber’s effect on taxi services.

These companies leverage software-driven business models to improve agility and time-to-market, and provide a better customer service and overall experience.

In March, CA Technologies surveyed 200 senior business and IT executives from the Americas (56%), Europe (29%), and Asia Pacific (15%) in a range of industries and found 78% believe that in the next three years software-driven business models will be a critical driver of competitive advantage.

As a result, more than half (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.

Over the next three years, the execs say software-driven concepts will have an increased impact across all areas of business, particularly in terms of market share, time-to-decision, financial performance, hiring strategy and interaction with and marketing to customers.

The survey also identified software-induced cultural shifts aimed at improving businesses in the growing application economy.

More than 50% of respondents have either already, or plan to implement process improvements to accommodate new applications, intensify collaboration, bring more IT and software development back in-house and develop new employee skill sets.

The survey highlighted data science, collaboration/networking and development ops as “highly important” for future success and 42% of execs say a “lack of knowledge and/or skills” is the biggest obstacle to becoming more adept at software application and development.

Half say their businesses invested in newer forms of software over the past three years and while only 7% say they decreased their level of investment, just 1% significantly increased investment.

The survey also made it clear that businesses want and need government support to navigate the software application environment.

The execs say cybersecurity training and incentives would improve the talent pool, and many companies would like to see educational reform.

More than two-thirds say security and privacy policies are at least moderately driven by government requirements and another 79% say these regulations are useful.

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