Those companies that are at the top scores on the index are more successful in achieving business goals and do things differently than less successful companies.

“Highly innovative companies are really trying to find new revenue streams,” Mithas said. “New development is critical for these companies. And a new software company could positively impact its brand image” with a successful release.

One way they succeed is by committing more resources to development. A third of the companies in the “highly successful” group have more than 1,000 developers working on new products; only 17% of companies overall commit that level of staffing.

The study also found that these highly innovative companies are making better use of agile techniques than traditional development companies.

“Customer requirements are changing all the time,” Mithas said. “Development teams need to keep pace. They have to release every three weeks, or every six weeks.” To do this effectively, he added, organizations need to bring developers and other departments closer together.

And, only a little more than a third of developers are “very confident” their companies are investing in the right technologies, but in “highly successful” companies, 76% claim to be that confident.

“Right now, 60% to 70% of IT projects fail,” Mithas said. But seeing how they measure up against the index can go a long way toward helping them get on the right track to deliver new software products successfully.

The study’s conclusion?

“The importance of being able to successfully build new software products will only continue to grow as consumers interact with companies more and more through digital touch points. Those companies that can quickly adapt to the ever-changing technological landscape will be best prepared to drive new revenue, protect brand reputation, and retain their customer base.”