Build an Enterprise Application Strategy That Delivers

Use agile practices to design digital apps and transform legacy applications

Predicts 2023: Composable Applications Accelerate Business Innovation

By 2026, all the top 20 cloud platform and SaaS providers will offer component marketplaces to enable customers’ composable strategies, differentiating by quality, convenience and security. Technology and service providers must modernize their offerings to support composable application architecture.

To support the growing business demand for composable business applications this research explores:

  • Adopting business-defined software modularity
  • Building flexibility into product pricing strategies
  • Experimenting with alternatives to prepare for modular delivery
  • Building a product strategy that supports both technology- and business-centric roles in the design and delivery of application experiences.

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    We’ve been able to identify key technologies that we need to understand and establish one-on-one expert sessions to gain a deep insight into those technologies.

    Kevin Switala

    VP & CTO, Gannett Fleming

    Transform your leadership style to set the foundation for growth

    Application leaders drive digital transformation, create innovation opportunities within their teams, and enable business units to improve productivity and customer experience. But the demand for business resilience requires more. Application leaders need to create responsive agile applications, effective application portfolio management and better IT-Business collaboration.

    Being aware of changes in the application landscape is no longer enough to stay ahead of business and technology trends; application leaders need to drive change to support an effective, dynamic application environment.

    By 2022, organizations with diverse IT-business collaborations will deliver business outcomes 25% faster than their competitors.

    How we address top challenges of application leaders

    As product centricity moves deeper into organizations, the role of the application manager requires an evolution to meet the new delivery style. It’s critical to redefine what role the current application leader will play, where they will work and how they must lead in the age of digital transformation.

    Emerging Tech Impact Radar: 2023

    The Emerging Tech Impact Radar 2023 highlights the technologies and trends that have the most potential to disrupt a broad cross-section of markets. This research highlights 26 of the highest-impact emerging technologies and technology trends organized around four key themes, which are critical for product leaders to evaluate as part of their competitive strategy.

    Top 10 Application Predictions Through 2025

     The transition to application-driven business requires IT leaders to elevate application strategies, advance a new vision of business problem solving, and potentially change the way application leaders work, deliver and modernize. This collection of the top 10 application-related planning assumptions through 2025 will enable application leaders to plan and deliver successful strategies.

    The Gartner Top Strategic Trends for Application Platforms and Architecture

    Applications leaders must not only deliver business-driven changes quickly, safely and efficiently, but also cope with increased business enthusiasm about new technologies and opportunities. Join this complimentary webinar where our Gartner expert explores strategic trends in application platforms and architecture to meet the increasing demand for innovation, agility and scalability

    The Gartner Leadership Vision for 2023: Enterprise Architecture

    Enterprise architecture leaders are key enablers for digital business, accountable for helping the enterprise balance risks and benefits. Join this complimentary webinar where Gartner expert Andreas Frangou discusses three challenges and four related trends that are impacting enterprise architecture leaders now and beyond

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    Frequently Asked Questions

    An enterprise applications strategy guides the most important application roadmap and architecture decisions, informed by value stream models that closely align to business objectives. An application strategy includes the guiding principles and future roadmap for evolving the application portfolio, processes and organization. This is done in order to meet the strategic needs of the operational, customer and employee experience objectives, while minimizing the cost of building and maintaining the portfolio.

    Enterprise application leaders must create an application strategy that aligns to business outcomes, particularly during times of economic headwinds. To meet these objectives, application leaders require clear metrics to track progress and articulate the value of enterprise application investments.

    Gartner estimates that IT leaders who successfully communicate their organizations’ business value will maintain 60% higher funding levels than their market peers. Enterprise application leaders often try to set their strategy without fully understanding business priorities. All application organizations need an application strategy to ensure the most important work gets done and the “nice to haves” or limited-value work are tackled last.

    Enterprise Application Leader refers to the leadership role that has the primary enterprise accountability for at least one major technology portfolio within a business. This means that they own the strategy, selection, implementation, and operational considerations for that portfolio of applications. An application, in this context, is a commercial software package that automates a discrete set of internal business processes. 

    The enterprise application leader is not necessarily an IT-only role. Gartner clients report this role in business, IT and matrixed centers of excellence. In a recent Gartner survey, 56% of application leaders stated that they worked in a matrix environment where they report to both an IT executive and a business leader. One way to simplify and scale application ownership is to designate a “domain” chairperson and governance team responsible for a “cluster” of applications sharing a common set of demand-side stakeholders.

    The domain grouping ideally should be based on business function or capability (e.g., a cluster of finance, HR and procurement applications). This approach may help split the entire application portfolio into six to eight domains with the chairperson acting as the effective “application leader” for each. In choosing this route, be sure that each domain includes applications from all pace layers — systems of record, differentiation and innovation, because each evolves at different rates.

    Application Leaders are responsible for application fitness through the entire lifecycle — including all capital and operating expenditures. Critical to this is ensuring the participation of all legitimate stakeholders in both strategy and evaluation of application options. This individual must coordinate with solution architects, business analysts and PPM organizations regularly to formulate application-related recommendations for management decisioning. As a result, the key skills and competencies of strong demand-side application owners include conflict management, proven ability to moderate a range of issues and success at forging effective relationships across diverse teams. 

    Organizations are planning for a more volatile future that demands an increasingly flexible Enterprise Applications strategy — whether in a service or product-centric business environment. Enterprises need agility from their applications to respond quickly to customer needs and be able to transform their business as part of a composable applications strategy. To deliver on this transformation, organizations need applications that can be readily assembled, reassembled and extended. IT and professional developers are not the only drivers of technological innovations. Business technologists, such as citizen developers and citizen data scientists, deliver business automation through a variety of technologies.

    Application delivery is the practices and processes for developing and deploying applications within an enterprise applications portfolio.  This includes DevOps, agile delivery, and product management practices.  



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    Join the world's leading application and software leaders to discuss the latest trends, concepts, and technologies.

    Learn more about how we can help you achieve your most critical priorities.

    Application leaders must transform their development and platform strategies to compete with top performers. Gartner can help you identify and adopt the right strategies to accelerate and scale your digital business ambitions.