Despite perceived benefits, majority of firms slow to adopt agile methodologies

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Organizations that have not adopted agile methodologies should take note that firms that emphasize cost and risk aversion in their strategies do so at the expense of benefits across a range of key business metrics.

That is the finding of a new report by research firm Frost & Sullivan that was sponsored by enterprise software provider Pegasystems Inc. The study is based on a survey of 437 senior executives across industry sectors on the importance of business agility and its relationship to overall performance. The research defined business agility as the ability to react nimbly and consistently, balancing speed and stability through operational discipline to quickly exploit change and complexity.

Organizations were grouped into three categories: adopters, those planning for strategy adoption, and non-adopters. The difference between adopters and non-adopters was considerable, the report said, with non-adopters reporting an average of 25 percent lower satisfaction with performance across major business metrics, including customer satisfaction, business value, innovation, product quality and productivity.

Those organizations that have chosen to adopt an agile approach reported a number of benefits, including increases in revenue growth (84 percent), profitability (78 percent), customer acquisition (78 percent), and customer retention (77 percent).

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A majority of strategic agile adopters surveyed (82 percent) rated overall customer satisfaction and quality of customer experience higher than their industry counterparts.

Despite the clear benefits, less than half of all respondents (43 percent) classify themselves as agile adopters today, with one in five indicating they either will not be adopting within the next one to two years or have no plans to adopt at all. Organizations that prioritize reducing project costs and minimizing project risk form the majority of all non-agile adopters.

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