Innovation Tax Report: ANZ Companies Say Data and Cloud Complexity Crashes Innovation Efforts

GUEST RESEARCH: Businesses in Australia and New Zealand say innovation is crucial, but they’re held back by complex data architectures. 39% say that the cloud is becoming more and more complex.

Companies in ANZ believe that technological innovation is crucial to driving future growth, but 76% say they are held back by complex data architecture, research reveals today.

The APAC Data and Innovation Report released by MongoDB, the leading modern general purpose database platform, surveyed 2,000 IT developers and decision makers (ITDMs) in Asia, including 400 in ANZ.

In the digital age, an organization’s success is often tied to how quickly it can create and deploy new solutions and applications. This has increased the strategic importance of developers who have become the engine of innovation. However, as today’s report revealed, developers are being held back from driving this innovation due to complex and legacy data architectures that take a lot of time and resources to work around. This is the recurrent tax on innovation.

Innovation is a clear priority but time is spent elsewhere

In ANZ, 67% reported that working with data is the hardest part of building and scaling apps and that their biggest technical challenge in app development is integrating different data sources.

Despite 79% agreeing that creating new innovative apps and features on a regular basis is crucial to their long-term success, many respondents say they can’t spend as much time on innovation as they would like:

Development teams and ITDMs say they spend the same amount of time maintaining existing data, applications and infrastructure (29%) as they do on the creation of new features or value-added applications (28%).

The report revealed that 59% of respondents described their organization’s data architecture as complex and 76% said complexity is a limiting factor when it comes to innovation. Companies also report that if they were unable to innovate, the most serious consequences would be lost revenue and an inability to respond to customers.

“When I look at companies that are at the forefront of innovation, they don’t outsource their innovation to third parties. Instead, these organizations have a leadership team that understands the complexities of building software today and wants to empower their development teams with solutions that make them more productive,” explained Mark Porter, CTO of MongoDB.

“Unfortunately, the data from our research echoes what I’ve heard from leaders. Organizations that still leverage complex, legacy technologies do so at the expense of the productivity of their development teams. Leaders who lead digital transformation initiatives should focus on how quickly they can deploy an application, how quickly they can iterate on it, and how predictably they can plan for the deployment of the application.”

Cloud and digital transformation increase complexity for many

A majority of organizations in ANZ (59%) agree that digital transformation has made their data architecture more complex.

When it comes to the cloud, it was clear that some companies had different experiences with almost half (48%) of respondents said moving to the cloud had helped simplify their architecture, while 39% said the cloud had actually made their data architecture more complex. Legacy data infrastructure was another barrier identified, with 76% calling it a barrier to innovation.

As the requirements for modern apps increase, the underlying infrastructure can also swell as other elements are added, such as search functionality or a mobile app. For example, 36% of businesses in the region reported having more than 10 databases.

This complexity often forces developers to spend time maintaining multiple data models, integrating data sources, supporting legacy systems, and hardening security patches.

“The cloud is a way for businesses to innovate faster and more efficiently, but it’s clear that not all organizations reap the same benefits. The difference lies in how businesses envision their cloud journey: looking Are they only moving and improving existing operations and processes?, which ultimately leads to disparate systems and spaghetti-like complex data infrastructures? Or are they taking a more holistic approach to understanding what would reduce complexity? and empower their developers to contribute to the organization’s innovation agenda,” explained MongoDB Senior Vice President, APAC Simon Eid..

“What we’re seeing in Australia and New Zealand is that many organizations have found a better solution. Regardless of size or industry, if you look at the brands that are innovating fast today and those that have thrived during the pandemic, you’ll often find that they were the ones who prioritized developer productivity, deployed an elegant and repeatable architecture, refused to compromise on data security and privacy, and succeeded in achieving flexibility of deployment.

Simon Eid, Senior Vice President APAC, MongoDB

The research also revealed:

  • The top priority for innovation is to increase internal efficiency/productivity
  • The biggest contributor to data complexity is the pressure to create new products or features, as well as the lack of coordination and planning

For the full report and more information on the results, click here.

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