Businesses worldwide overestimate their agility. While a majority of businesses believe they are agile, new research highlights that many cannot flexibly manage workloads or rapidly develop, test, and launch new applications, leaving them poorly prepared to deal with competitive threats.
The “Oracle Cloud Agility” study also found a lack of awareness among businesses around how technology like platform-as-a-service (PaaS), can be used to help address these challenges.
The Oracle Cloud Agility study surveyed 2 263 employees working for large global enterprises to understand business agility in the age of cloud. The results show that 64% consider their organisation to be agile (able to adjust quickly to new business opportunities or to iterate new products and services quickly). When looking at the US, businesses are even more positive, with 66% believing their business to be agile.
Respondents are clear about the benefits of agility, with 81% stating that the ability to rapidly develop, test, and launch new business applications is either critically important or important to the success of their business, falling to 76% in the US. In particular, nearly one-third of respondents (29%) believe the effective mobilisation of applications and services is the most important factor in business success today when it comes to IT infrastructure.
The study also reveals that the impact of agility on competitiveness is critically important to businesses. In fact, the ability of competitors to launch innovative customer services more rapidly was identified as the top threat by businesses (27%). Fifty two percent of global respondents indicated that their business does not have an IT infrastructure capable of meeting competitive threats. Those surveyed in the United States aligned exactly with their global counterparts, as 52% noted that their IT infrastructure was insufficient to meet competitive threats.
Significantly, the survey reveals that the agility benefits delivered by PaaS are not being leveraged. In fact, nearly half of businesses (49%) surveyed either cannot, or do not know if they can shift workloads between public, private, and hybrid clouds, and migrate on-premises applications to the cloud. Additionally, only 50% of businesses can develop, test, and deploy new business applications for use on mobile devices within six months, with this figure falling to just 30% within a one month timeframe.
“Businesses clearly know agility holds the key to their success, but there is an awareness gap around exactly how this agility can be realized through the right technology investments,” says Robert Shimp, group vice-president at Oracle. “Today, PaaS can enable businesses to build new applications quickly – in as little as two weeks – allowing them to launch new internal and customer-facing applications rapidly. This capability allows organizations to respond almost immediately to market conditions and get their products and services to customers ahead of the competition.”
The survey results bear out the assessment that businesses are not fully aware of how PaaS can increase operational agility. Only 32% of respondents state that they fully understand what PaaS is, rising to 37% in the US, while 29% admit that they do not understand it at all. For those that say they do understand PaaS, only 31% cite reduced timeframes for application development as a main benefit, far behind less strategic benefits such as savings on the cost of internal IT infrastructure (47%).
“PaaS offerings, such as the Oracle Cloud Platform, have the ability to deliver unprecedented levels of business agility. The key now is to demonstrate to businesses just how easy it is to integrate this critical cloud platform into their IT architectures. Yes, the cost savings delivered by PaaS are important, but of greater importance is its ability to help businesses reduce application development timeframes and more easily tailor and integrate third-party Software as a Service apps into their business, allowing them to more effectively address customer demand,” says Shimp.