The Covid-19 crisis has caused many problems and wreaked havoc on businesses, but for software development teams, it has led to focusing on business needs and delivering as quickly as possible. Over the past few months, many software development teams have focused on supporting the “contactless” business, with a particular focus on digital transformation, DevOps and automation.
This is what emerges from a survey conducted in August-September among 347 software professionals and managers, published by the Accelerated Strategies Group for CloudBees. The majority of respondents, 63%, note that digital transformation goals have increased significantly or somewhat in priority. Other priorities, notably business automation (62%) and the need to invest in the creation of contactless services (60%) have increased considerably or somewhat.
The Covid-19 crisis has also highlighted the importance of other priorities: 52% of respondents say they have placed more emphasis on DevOps initiatives and 52% have increased their progress in migrating to service providers in the cloud (AWS, Azure, Google Cloud Platform). “Things happened in a few months that we weren’t expecting to see in a year or two or more,” said Mitch Ashley, CEO of Accelerated Strategies Group and co-author of the report. “Then we have things like contactless delivery, which we hadn’t even heard of six to nine months ago.”
Growing adoption of DevOps and agile methods
Also noteworthy is the growth in adoption of DevOps and Agile mode by companies, with 46% reporting using cross-functional teams, 56% practicing daily standing meetings, and 43% automating tasks.
ASG also notes that the health crisis has had an impact on the productivity of IT teams, but in a positive direction. A majority of respondents, 59%, said their software teams are more productive than before the pandemic. In addition, 43% of those surveyed said that it has become a little easier to complete their tasks on time.
At the same time, reactions regarding respondents’ ability to deal with unproductive distractions were mixed, according to the survey authors. While 40% said dealing with these distractions was easier, 36% said it was more difficult and 23% said their ability to deal with these distractions had not changed. In general, the data showed that IT teams work more closely with product management, project management, operations, and security.
ASG also examined the impacts on the status of software delivery. More than two in three people, or 67%, say they have been able to prioritize feature development based on expected business impact. “This is extremely important because when we make an investment, if we know it up front, it means that we are winning or that we are well aligned with the business early in the process,” said Mitch Ashley.
Additionally, 63% said they plan to promote and articulate the value of new features made available to end users. “It’s not just about informing businesses, but also telling them that we have released software, that the update is in progress and the checkboxes have been checked,” said Mitch Ashley. “Development teams plan to promote not only what they’ve created, but also why it’s important for the business to help maximize the value of what we get from software.”
There are also challenges that persist. For example, 65% of those surveyed are unable to quantify the cost of delays in the delivery of feature films. “This indicates that we don’t really understand the value to the business, but also the opportunity cost lost in the delay. This delay could result in less capture of part of the market. This could mean that we are ahead of the competition. This could mean that we have not met the customer’s expectations ”.
In addition, 50% said they could not measure the cost of development by functional area, and could not measure the costs of defects found after a release. “Here, we don’t understand how to trace the cost of defects back to the business, as well as, of course, to information technology, which can help us direct investments into how we create. software, and also, by measuring development time, to ensure that we devote it to valued features and to managing our technical debt ”.
In addition, 84% said that the inaccessibility of information hampered communications among themselves, as well as with business leaders. Blame the “organizational and functional silos – yes, the dreaded silos”.
The crisis also had unexpected results. For example, 61% of respondents found it easier to work outside of time zones, 40% said it was easier to work with employees on different continents, and 37% of respondents noted that it was easier to take advantage of “jobs” or flexible part-time employees to achieve goals.