Serena Software has attempted to build authority for its position as an application delivery specialist by conducting a survey focused on application development and delivery priorities and initiatives for 2012. While surveys typically rank among the bottom tier elements of developer news, this study was conducted at Gartner's recent Application Architecture, Development and Integration (AADI) Summit.
So if we should afford any credence to this analysis, we need to detail one further caveat: Survey respondents were "senior" level IT executives from financial services, public sector, IT services, and healthcare organizations. Developers should perhaps take this not as "summary of views of their peers", but more as an insight into what their line managers might be thinking. If this is so, then there is value in the below findings.
In summary, 68 percent of respondents viewed delivering applications faster to the business as the "top priority in application development" for the New Year. Expanding the use of Agile methodologies and reducing application development costs were the second and third highest priorities, coming in respectively at 52 percent and 49 percent.
The survey also covered top application development initiatives for 2012. According to those surveyed, "managing applications as a business process" came in as the most important initiative for next year. It was also reported that demonstrating end-to-end traceability across different tools and the application development lifecycle was a growing need among organizations and came in as the number two priority in application development, up three spots in importance from a similar survey conducted at last year's Gartner AADI Summit.
Delivering applications faster is not only the top priority among those surveyed, it is also growing in importance, up almost 10 percent from the 2010 survey. Interestingly enough, performance has outpaced cost as a priority, according to the survey, as the reduction of application development costs dropped in importance in this year's survey — replaced as the number two priority with Agile use.
While most software delivery teams today have the right tools, roles, and functions in place, Serena sees the biggest challenge in finding a way for these elements to effectively work together from initial request to release into production, so the entire IT organization can be as efficient and cost effective as possible. By putting effective processes in place, even the largest global enterprises can better orchestrate, measure, predict, and improve the overall software delivery process.
"Our survey results prove that our forward-thinking orchestrated application lifecycle management strategy is fully aligned with customer needs and priorities for 2012," said Serena's David Hurwitz. "Most IT organizations today leverage multiple development tools and we don't believe this is going to change. Our approach supports this reality by providing solutions that allow teams to deliver applications faster while leveraging their existing assets in a cost-effective and completely auditable manner."