Putting digital landscapes into perspective

In our earlier posts, we examined what it takes to be a digital business and took a stab at trying to clarify whether being a Digital Business is for you and explore your direction towards achieving it.

Referencing statistical research from McAfee, Exploding Topics, Blissfully, and F5 we find that on average, organisations with fewer than 1,000 employees use around 100 to 180 applications, of which 22 custom-built (spanning bespoke and spreadsheets).

Number of custom applications by customer size

Interestingly, these solutions are also mostly consumed by internal employees, with only around a third consumed by customers, partners and suppliers.

Application end user by percentage of applications

How do you compare?

Some additional data points you can use to get a sense of how you compare:

  • 90%+ businesses have embraced the need to mix off-the-shelf solutions while integrating and connecting systems to create optimised internal workflows using either in-house development teams or outsourced development.
  • 77% of organisations are modernising their internal or customer-facing applications to help them manage customers, be more customer-friendly, and expose APIs as a connecting tissue of choice between traditional and modern application components (e.g. using Zapier, MS Power Automate, IFTTT).
Approach to development resources
  • 133% increase in organisations modernising apps since 2020 focused on, migrating applications to the public cloud, enabling modern interfaces via APIs, building new user experiences using modern components and refactoring legacy code to adopt modern cloud architectures
  • AI-assisted business has tripled (e.g. Crystal Knows helping sales and management teams improve interactions through on-the-fly DISC profiles), helping you get deeper insights into every prospect and employee you engage.
  • 75% of organisations identify the importance of telemetry to access solution usage insights and health metrics to detect, manage and improve customer experiences
  • 95% of organisations missing capabilities to collect and process insights.
  • 12% of organisations have capabilities to report back to business units in reasonable periods
  • 62% of organisations measure performance in terms of response time and time to resolution
  • 95% are missing insights about performance, security and availability

Applications are central to the way we live, work, and interact.

The technologies that enable such experiences and capabilities are key to business growth, whether you are focused on modernising your capabilities or transforming your organisation into a Digital Business.

Wrapping Up

Summarising our progress, in our Digital Business (DB) series journey so far, we

Explore the rest of the "Digital Business" series:

# Topic Link
DB-01 Unpack what it takes to be a Digital Business Open
DB-02 Is being a Digital Business for you? Open
DB-03 Putting digital landscapes into perspective (This Post)
DB-04 Set your Digital Business north star Open
DB-05 Changing the business while running the business Open
DB-06 Understanding the Digital Business Mindset Open
DB-07 Top 5 Key traits Digital Leadership should have Open
DB-08 Unlocking Digital Business Agility Open
DB-O9 Top 8 capabilities you need to be a Digital Business Open


  • There is no one-size-fits-all solution for companies to become Digital Businesses.
  • It is only in uniting people, products & processes through a common vision, a deeply felt purpose, and a broadly shared dream that will continue to motivate stakeholders to push on and persevere.
  • Many paths can lead to your desired destination. Each route while equally viable have varying degrees of complexity, sophistication and completeness.

My purpose in the series is to share lessons learned in building global software businesses to help you achieve a Digital Business with assets people want to buy.

Let me know what you think about this series and whether you feel something important was left out. Reach out on andre@andremuscat.com.

Let us know what you think!. We believe in productive discourse and welcome opportunities to refine our understanding through discussion. Comment in the comments area below or reach out on hi@andremuscat.com


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