The App Experience Is the Human Experience

Global survey shows cloud-native apps power today’s organizations. And enterprises that prioritize modern views of leadership, processes and application delivery realize greater success.

Adaptable World

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The pandemic fast-forwarded human reliance on digital interaction.

From ordering groceries to telehealth and remote learning, digital engagement fuels our new way of living and working. Technology—and the great minds behind organizations’ digital foundations—kept the proverbial lights on in our homes and businesses, powered our governments, supported economies and will ultimately help us find a cure.

And now that the digital experience is often the only experience, modern apps hold the keys to helping us thrive in a world that is forever changed.

Hover over each image to reveal insights.

High-performing organizations are those growing 15%+ per year and under-performing organizations are those growing -1% per year.

Obstacles to Modern Apps Success

It’s been my experience that given the right environment and after removing the usual series of tedious bottlenecks, people will create great software. Then, innovation is easy: all you have to do is ask.

─ Michael Coté in The Business Bottleneck: Breaking through the Last Barrier of Digital Transformation

A recent global survey by market research firm Vanson Bourne, commissioned by VMware, revealed that despite popular belief, digital transformation isn’t failing. However, 87% of respondents encountered digital transformation roadblocks, particularly in the realm of application modernization.

The survey discovered that people, processes and technology are vital for successful digital transformation. However, too many platforms, outdated processes and conflicts of opinion can all undermine a project. If all obstacles are present, the chances of derailment substantially increase.

“One of the questions I frequently ask executives of companies wanting to modernize is: ‘How quickly can you ship software?’”

—Edward Hieatt, SVP Tanzu Services, VMware

Related story: The Connection Between the App Experience & Customer Experience

High-performing companies are much more successful when it comes to app/software projects. They’re also more efficient at getting to production, with high-performing organizations reporting that three-quarters of their efforts get to production on time.

Looking ahead, if these organizations could rid themselves of people, process and technology roadblocks, then it stands to reason that success rates will rise further. And for high- and underperforming organizations alike, there’s still progress to be made. As the digital experience increasingly becomes the customer experience, apps and software are now more critical than ever to both digital transformation and operational success.

Customer-Centric Innovation

“Has the digital customer experience changed during the time of COVID-19? Absolutely. And it’s pretty clear which companies prioritize customer experience by modernizing digital offerings.”

—Sumit Dhawan, Chief Customer Experience Officer, VMware

Related story: Improving the Digital Customer Experience During Unprecedented Change

In our digital world, many of your customer experiences happen through software. And in this time of shelter-in-place and social distancing, every industry relies on apps to drive revenue, grow loyalty and adapt quickly to changing demands. Surprisingly, however, many organizations don’t know how to measure application “success.” In fact, many aren’t looking for the right clues at all.

Organizations must effectively measure a range of metrics to understand the experience from the end users’ eyes. High-performing organizations again lead the way here.



Measurements such as retention rates, downloads, subscriptions and churn rates are all fantastic indicators of app quality. But underperforming organizations are far less likely to measure each of them. Because of this, underperformers often don’t see the full picture—particularly on the success of releases. And this must improve for future efforts.

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Spotlight: Duke Energy Delivers Innovative, Customer-Centric App


“We’re a century-old company, but our world is changing. We’re looking at both inside-out transformation, as well as our outside-in. What do our customers expect? And how do we deliver what they expect when they need it, just for them.”

—Brian Savoy, SVP Business Transformation and Technology, Duke Energy

A Blueprint for Successful Modern Apps

High-performing organizations offer clues for modern apps success, centering around people, processes and technology.



Characteristics of High-Performing Organizations

A deeper dive into the survey’s data uncovers this important distinction: High-performing and underperforming organizations* approach software development and delivery very differently.


While executing toward different objectives, leaders across industries share common strategies for accelerating software development.


Related story: 11 Ways to Boost Business Agility & Adapt—Fast

Survey respondents validated that the keys to success are consistent, too:

Apps at the Ready