1 RESEARCH REPORT IT Trends and Outlooks: Why IT Should Forget About Development By Miguel Tam April Serena Software, Inc. 1
2 Introduction Ten years ago, the Agile Manifesto turned software development on its head. And a few years later in 2007, Apple and Amazon introduced yet two more dramatic revolutions to application development: the iphone and Amazon EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud). IT organizations and software developers, who were just beginning to come to terms with Agile development principles, now had to figure out how to best work with mobile apps and cloud development platforms. And it was not only consumer-focused companies that had to face these new challenges. As IT has become more consumerized over the last few years, business users across all industries now expect their IT departments to deliver IT innovation and services at breakneck speed. So five years after the birth of the iphone, how is enterprise application development actually doing? Has Agile development really helped IT deliver better applications? Which trends are endangering today s IT organizations and which are hidden opportunities? And which issues separate the IT leaders from the laggards? Serena Software recently conducted a survey with almost 1,000 respondents from diverse industries to cut through the hype and understand how enterprise IT organizations are dealing with an increasingly complex technology landscape. About the Survey Respondents Serena conducted the survey with 957 respondents around the world using multiple online survey tools. The survey asked respondents about their level of success with various Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) processes, including demand management, requirements management, application development, and release management. The survey questions were derived from Serena s Value Engineering services, which help an IT organization perform a current state assessment, identify potential improvement opportunities, and quantify the potential benefits that they could achieve. The survey respondents came from a variety of industries, including finance, energy, manufacturing and healthcare. Almost half of the respondents were from either the financial services industry (banking, insurance, etc.) with 26% of the respondents, or from the technology sector (high-tech manufacturing, software, IT consulting, etc.) with 22% of the respondents. 6%$ 7%$ 8%$ Figure 1: Industry segmentation of respondents In terms of company size, the survey respondents came from all size companies, with over 50% coming from organizations with greater than 2,000 employees. 16%$ 12%$ 13%$ 8%$ 24%$ 26%$ 22%$ 21%$ 19%$ Figure 2: Company size segmentation of respondents The roles of the respondents varied from front-line developers to more senior IT executives. Titles included: IT directors and VPs System architects Senior engineers and developers Project managers Compliance officers System administrators Financial$Services$ Technology$ Public$Sector$ Transporta>on$ Healthcare$ Industrial$ Retail$ Telecom$ Energy$ Media$ Other$or$Unknown$ Less$than$750$ 750$3$2000$ 2000$3$5000$ 5000$3$20,000$ Over$20,000$ Public$Sector$ Serena Software, Inc. 1
3 Key Findings So how is IT doing? Though enterprise IT organizations continue to face many new challenges across the application development lifecycle, the Serena survey extracted several key themes that were prominent across multiple industries: Theme 1: IT can forget about development. Despite all the dramatic changes in application development over the last 10 years, most respondents think that they are doing an excellent job with their core development processes. Of course, development can always be improved, but survey respondents say that other upstream and downstream IT processes required more attention. Theme 2: Customers are not getting what they want. Iterative development philosophies like Agile are supposed to tie the customer and developers more closely together, but survey respondents indicate that they are still struggling with managing requirements and giving customers what they really want. Theme 3: IT is not delivering great software. While IT organizations are doing well with developing apps, survey respondents indicate that their process of delivering software into production is still fraught with issues. The survey findings strongly suggest that IT organizations can forget about core development processes, and instead, spend more time focusing on the bookends of ALM requirements management and release management. According to Tom Grant of Forrester Research, We've moved well past the developer-focused topics, such as sprint planning and test-driven development. Now, the Agile community is grappling with other parts of the value chain beyond the development team. These findings are consistent across all industries that were surveyed. Nailing what customers really want and actually getting it into their hands without many bugs are the things that IT organizations need to focus on going forward. Theme 1: Forget About Development Agile methodologies have transformed the way many IT organizations develop software. Even IT departments that have only partially embraced Agile (or water-scrum-fall organizations ) have been influenced by many of its core principles: closer engagement with customers, more frequent releases, working software, etc. The focus on improving development teams is evident in the survey responses as well, with Application Development having the highest quality score of the four ALM processes surveyed, with a score of 2.77 out of 4 (with 4 being Excellent ). The four ALM processes were: Demand management: the process of capturing and reviewing demand, including submission of requests, approval of project proposals, and customer status updates Requirements management: the process of defining and managing requirements, including stakeholder collaboration, requirements reuse, and traceability Application development: the process of developing and managing software, including QA collaboration, development audits, and peer review Release management: the process of deploying releases into production environments, including release automation, post-production fixes, and component reuse Comparing Four Major ALM Processes!2.77!!!2.74!!!2.65!!!2.58!! Development! Demand! Release! Requirements! Figure 3: Average quality scores of key ALM processes (from 1 to 4, with 4 being Excellent ) Serena Software, Inc. 2
4 Although the theoretical average score for any question is 2.50, survey respondents rated all ALM processes higher than average. Respondents felt they did the best job with application development, which was 11% higher than the theoretical average. Within the area of application development, survey respondents were asked to assess the following topics: Speed of packaging code Ease of passing development audits Approval of QA turnovers Number of turnovers from QA Peer review of QA tasks Development Is Doing Fine Quickly!Packaging!Code! Passing!Development!Audits! Approval!of!QA!Turnovers! Acceptable!#!Turnovers!to!QA! Peer!Review!of!QA!Tasks!!2.67!!!2.76!! Figure 4: Average score of specific application development processes (overall score 2.77)!2.80!!!2.78!!!2.84!! Respondent answers show that speed and collaboration, which coincidentally are two core Agile principles, are driving better application development. Consider the scores in three areas where developers and QA must interact effectively: We can quickly get code packaged for deployment once QA approves code (2.84). In fact, this was one of the top five individual scores across all questions. We have few rejected turnovers of code from QA to development (2.78). Once code is initially frozen, we have a very reasonable number of turnovers to QA (2.76). While development and QA are sometimes portrayed as antagonists, survey results indicate that development and QA are actually working very well together. Agile s principles of creating more collaborative teams and having QA involved earlier in the software development lifecycle are definitely helping development across all industries. This is especially impressive considering the growth of new development technologies and platforms, especially with mobile and cloud. There were two interesting responses in the area of application development. First, survey respondents indicated that passing development audits was straightforward, with a score of Considering that almost 50% of respondents were from regulated industries (finance, healthcare, government, etc.), this was surprisingly high. Also, with the high velocity of application development, the growing number of platforms and the ever increasing demands from the business, this is an outstanding result. Another interesting result is that peer review of QA tasks scored significantly lower than the rest of the application development areas, with a quality score of This seems to indicate that peer review is still viewed as an optional step in development, often left as the last step in a fast-paced application development lifecycle. In conclusion, survey results indicate that when it comes to core application development, even with new mobile and cloud technologies, IT organizations are doing perfectly fine. While there still remains room for improvement, especially with peer review of QA tasks, IT should look at other areas and forget about development. Theme 2: Listen to the Customer While the legacy of Agile has certainly helped IT organizations streamline core development processes, it seems that the first principle of the Agile Manifesto, Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer. is still missing the mark. Certainly, satisfying the customer is harder than ever. The consumerization of IT, multiple mobile and cloud platforms, and changing needs have hampered IT s ability to satisfy business user needs. According to the survey results, defining and managing customer requirements need significant help. Whereas core development received a quality score of 2.77, requirements Serena Software, Inc. 3
5 management was rated 2.58 out of 4, the lowest score of all the four main ALM process areas. Within the domain of requirements management, survey respondents were asked to assess the following areas: Requirements collaboration with internal and external stakeholders Time to clarify and approve requirements Requirements reuse Minimizing requirements churn Proving compliance to customer and regulatory requirements Clarifying Requirements Is Challenging Minimizing!Requirements!Churn! Easily!Proving!Compliance! Stakeholder!CollaboraAon! Requirements!Reuse! Clarifying!Requirements!!2.28!!!2.38!! Figure 5: Average score of specific requirements management processes (overall score 2.58)!2.67!!!2.61!!!2.94!! What is clear from the survey responses is that the front end of application development needs a lot more help when it comes to collaboration. This is true not only with external stakeholders, but with other development teams as well, especially when it comes to requirements reuse. The three lowest scores for requirements management all relate to working together with requirements: Requirements clarification/approval: 2.28 Requirements reuse: 2.38 Requirements collaboration: 2.61 The growth of new form factors, especially with multiple smartphones and tablets, may have further contributed to the low requirements scores. What s surprising about these scores is that there are so many technologies that should theoretically help with requirements collaboration, including online meetings, real-time chat, wikis, and shared repositories. However, the average score across these three areas was 14% lower than the overall application development rating. In fact, these three areas were 3 of the 6 lowest individual scores across all process areas. There are multiple issues that are likely causing poor collaboration, sharing, and clarification of requirements in enterprise IT organizations, including: There are many new form factors with mobile platforms. Everyone does not use the same tools. Real-time collaboration is just a subset of how IT organizations work with requirements. Requirements and the number of stakeholders involved are much more complex in enterprise IT. Visibility into requirements is much more difficult in an enterprise setting. With a plethora of real-time and open source collaboration tools, the survey results indicate that throwing more wikis and repositories at the problem likely will not help enterprise IT resolve any of these requirements issues. Instead, IT should embrace an approach that: Enables stakeholders to work with the tools that they already have Use a requirements process that accommodates and ties together both online and offline collaboration Makes it easy for stakeholders to see information and updates that are relevant to them Brings in the appropriate stakeholders at the right stage of development There were two surprising survey responses relating to requirements management. First, just like core application development, survey respondents indicated that they did a decent job with audit and compliance. Proving compliance with customer and regulatory requirements had a quality score of 2.67, which was just below the overall average score of 2.68 for all survey questions. As stated previously, considering the highly regulated nature of the respondents industries and the fast nature of development, this score showed that respondents paid a great deal of attention to proving compliance Serena Software, Inc. 4
6 The more interesting survey response was that respondents felt that requirements did not change that frequently. With a quality score of 2.94, this indicates that respondents see the frequency of change as acceptable once requirements have been clarified and approved by all stakeholders. With Agile organizations, this is likely the case, because an excess of changes will just be put in the backlog for the next sprint. But regardless of the methodology being followed, IT organizations should do their utmost to nail down requirements with stakeholders earlier in the application lifecycle, so that they can minimize costly changes downstream with development. Unlike core application development, the survey responses for requirements management show that IT organizations are still struggling with the fuzzy front end. While all is not lost, IT organizations should invest in putting a process not more tools in place that helps everyone share requirements more easily across a complex technology and organizational landscape. By finalizing requirements early, IT will be able to deliver better software to the business. the survey results indicate that IT organizations should focus more on DevOps to bridge the development and ops divide. The survey results for release management had a quality score of 2.65, which was just below the average of 2.68 for all responses. This mixed result is a good news/bad news situation for IT organizations, indicating that release management has both positive areas, as well as areas for improvement. Within the domain of release management, survey respondents were asked to assess their capabilities for: Deploying on time without frequent issues Quickly fixing post-deployment issues Preventing post-deployment bugs Having a standard release process across applications Releasing On Time Is Error-Prone Standard!Process!Across!Apps! Quickly!Fixing!Issues!!2.94!!!2.91!! Theme 3: The DevOps Divide Reducing!Post>Deployment!Bugs!!2.61!! Just as the front end of application development is struggling, so is the tail end of getting apps out to customers. While Agile has certainly helped development, the third principle of the Agile Manifesto Deliver working software frequently has caused consternation with many enterprise IT organizations. Instead of having months, or even years, to prepare and deploy applications, IT Operations now has to deal with weekly or daily releases. According to recent market research, 80% of software expenditures take place in the operations and post- deployment phase, so getting release management right is critical for IT organizations. The rise of DevOps to improve the transition from development to production has gained popularity in recent years, not only because of Agile, but also because of the proliferation of production environments, including mobile and the cloud. While DevOps is still a burgeoning movement, Deploying!on!Time!w/o!Issues!!2.15!! Figure 6: Average score of specific release management processes (overall score 2.65) The survey responses reveal a dichotomy in the release management area. In one regard, the area of release management has two of the highest overall scores for individual questions, but at the same time, has the lowest individual score across all survey questions: Standard release process across apps: 2.94 Quickly fixing post-deployment issues: 2.91 Deploying on time without issues: 2.15 These survey results for release management seem to indicate that even with more frequent Agile sprints, deploying apps into Serena Software, Inc. 5
7 production has not necessarily turned into a free-for-all. However, that is not the whole story. The extremely low score for deploying on time without issues clearly shows that the standard release process is not working well. So, while enterprise IT is adhering to a standard release process, it s only the ability to quickly fix issues that is keeping application releases on track. In order to improve their ability to deploy applications on time without issues, IT organizations should consider the following: Revisit their current release process that is likely geared for more infrequent deployments Automate as much of the release process as possible to eliminate manual errors Institute controls like a release vault to ensure that the correct code is deployed Implement appropriate approval processes for deploying applications While IT already has experience in successfully releasing applications, the survey shows that there is still room for improvement, especially in an Agile, multi-environment world. IT organizations should revisit their overall deployment process. They need to find the right balance between speed and control in order to ensure that they can repeatedly, quickly, and confidently deploy their applications. Different Industry, Similar Results There is little variability for survey results across the industries that were interviewed. Most industries are doing well in core application development and struggle with the bookends of requirements management and release management. In fact, all industry scores were within 0.18 of each other. While Oil and Gas and Media had the highest overall industry scores, the smaller sample size of those respondents (39 total respondents) may have skewed those results. In that case, the industry that scored the highest and had a significant sample size was Financial Services (242 respondents) with a quality score of This high score could be attributed to the industry s maturity in developing and delivering custom applications. On the other end of the spectrum, the industry with the lowest overall score was Transportation. However, with a score of 2.64, this was barely below the overall industry average of ALM Is Similar Across Industries Oil!and!Gas! Media! Financial!Services! Technology! AVERAGE! U2li2es! Public!Sector! Manufacturing! Telecom! Healthcare! Figure 7: Quality scores for specific industries (average score of 2.68 highlighted) What is especially troublesome is the fact that deploying releases on time without many issues is rated as consistently poor across all industries. In fact, despite having one of the highest overall scores, this was the one area where Financial Services had the lowest score (2.06) across all industries. There was only one individual question that had a high degree of variability across industries. Taking out the smaller sample size of Oil and Gas and Media, the area of requirements reuse had the highest variability, with a range of The lowest scores were from Retail (1.91), Utilities (2.05), and Transportation (2.23), while the highest came from Technology (2.55). Summary Retail! Transporta2on!!2.65!!!2.64!!!2.67!!!2.67!!!2.66!!!2.66!!!2.66!!!2.68!!!2.70!!!2.72!!!2.77!!!2.80!! Much attention has been given to the successes of Agile, and deservedly so. The 957 responses to the Serena survey clearly show that application development is executing very well even in the age of the iphone and Serena Software, Inc. 6
8 the cloud. But ten years after the birth of Agile, it s clear from these survey results that IT organizations need to forget about development and apply Agile principles across the entire application lifecycle. The proliferation of mobile and cloud environments, along with the continued usage of mainframe and virtualized environments, means that enterprise IT organizations have a lot more on their hands. While Agile has helped IT successfully deal with the challenges of these new technologies, IT needs to start focusing on the bookends of ALM requirements management and release management. To ensure that it is delivering what the business really wants, enterprise IT organizations need to look at the process of how stakeholders can share, clarify, and approve requirements. New form factors in phones and tablets don t require more IT tools. Instead, they beg for more frequent and earlier stakeholder involvement, as well as a more cohesive approach to reusing requirements across multiple platforms and projects. Once requirements are clarified, coded, and tested, IT organizations also need to focus much more on an efficient release management process. While many IT groups are following a standard process, it s clear that they are following a standard yet suboptimal process. Because of the higher velocity of Agile sprints and the multitude of different environments that are impacted by new applications, IT needs to automate as much of the release management process as possible. And while speed is critical for ensuring happy business users, IT also needs to ensure that they have the right amount of control in place to minimize errors in the DevOps handoff. These findings from the Serena survey are clear and consistent IT should really forget about development. Determining and delivering what the customer really wants without many issues is now what IT needs to focus on for the future. Appendix The Serena survey was conducted in late 2011 using the online polling technologies from TechValidate and SurveyMonkey. The survey was promoted to both Serena customers and IT professionals via the following means: Serena.com Twitter LinkedIn Serena xpress newsletter CM Crossroads ALM Expo 2012 event All respondents had the option to submit their responses anonymously. Survey respondents were also entered in a drawing to win an ipad. A total of 957 respondents filled out the survey, and the complete results of responses are available upon request. A version of the survey can be found at benchmark- . Copyright 2012 Serena Software, Inc. All rights reserved. Serena is a registered trademark of Serena Software, Inc. All other product or company names are used for identification purposes only, and may be trademarks of their respective owners Serena Software, Inc. 7 Revised 25 April Document ID: WP-ALM
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