F5 2021 State of Application Strategy report

March 18, 2021

At a glance

Digital transformation has raced forward in the last year.

The astonishing progress is apparent through several key markers revealed in our seventh annual survey:

  • AI-assisted business has tripled.
  • Applications continue to be modernized rapidly, with APIs a method of choice.
  • The importance of SaaS-delivered security is rising as organizations work to unify security across distributed applications while managing more architectures than ever.
  • Architectural complexity makes multi-cloud availability an imperative, and edge deployments are increasing, too.
  • Telemetry will take us to the future—but now, nearly everyone is missing the insights they need.

This remarkable past year, filled with newly remote work, education, and consumer activities, has driven significant changes in organizations’ outlooks for the future— including which trends decision-makers consider most strategic over the next 2–5 years.

Welcome to the F5 2021 State of Application Strategy Report.


A Digital Leap Toward Our Data-Driven Future

We all know how much the world has changed in the last year. As the results of the most recent F5 State of Application Strategy survey make clear, however, the COVID-19 pandemic also vastly accelerated a global digital transformation that was already underway. Progress that might normally have taken a decade has leapt forward in a single year—with respondents maturing in their journeys toward digital expansion.

A dramatic increase in remote work and socially distanced ways of interacting with customers—both driven by the global pandemic—have exploded demand for digital services across industries, geographies, and communities.

Providing digital access to products and services previously purchased through in-person transactions is not enough. Improving connectivity, reducing latency, enhancing performance, and ensuring security have become critical to business survival. As everything from restaurant orders and telehealth to governmental assemblies has gone digital, a streamlined and supportive user experience has become indispensable. Yet IT infrastructures and skillsets typically don’t change so quickly. As a result, organizations are embracing the public cloud and SaaS, rapidly adopting edge strategies, and seeking application security and delivery technologies that are easy to deploy and provide data for decisions.

Key survey findings that support these conclusions reflect changes in four strategic areas intended to improve the customer experience and defend the digital business.

  1. Continued modernization of applications and architectures
  2. Accelerating cloud and SaaS deployments driving a multi-cloud approach and growth in SaaS security.
  3. The rise of the edge as containerization expands.
  4. The importance of telemetry to applications that can adapt to change.

Each area captures a different aspect of progress toward digital transformation.

Price: FREE

About the Provider

F5 Networks
F5 Networks, Inc. is a transnational company that specializes in application services and application delivery networking. F5 technologies focus on the delivery, security, performance, and availability of web applications, including the availability of computing, storage, and network resources.


Application Strategy, Digital experiences, Digital Transformation