North America Survey Results - A Virtual Change in App Dev is Due

A virtual transformation in how businesses deliver applications for customers is due in North America.

We recently underwrote some interesting independent research by the firm Coleman Parkes on Service Virtualization. They interviewed hundreds of IT leaders at large enterprises ($1-2 billion+ annual revenue) in the US and Canada, and compared that data to similar trends recorded in Europe.

The results show a grim reality – the ability of IT to deliver and integrate applications has become extremely constrained and unpredictable. A new kind of “virtual reality” is now needed for software development, driven by customer demands and the ever-increasing risk of failure.

For today’s enterprise, IT is no longer just an enabler. Applications have become core to the revenue stream, driven by customers with an insatiable appetite for new functionality. How can businesses innovate fast enough to meet changing customer demands – without causing the kinds of public software failures that make headlines? The biggest indicator here is that only 9% of the companies in this survey say they have comprehensive insight into how their complex apps may break in production. Clearly, this needs to change.

Some metrics in this survey really jumped out:

  • 56% of North American businesses expect IT budgets for software delivery to increase by the end of 2012. For almost a decade, we have heard that IT will be expected to “do more with less” – but this stat could indicate that the IT function may have been trimmed as low as it can go in many companies while still meeting demand.
  • 76% say they will need more of the IT budget for additional personnel. The job market is anything but weak for technical talent. The labor cost of IT is increasing globally, both for in-house teams and outsourcing.
  • Most IT teams will be expected to deliver more functionality (57%), with the same or faster frequency of software releases (95%).
  • But software goals are commonly missed. 60% of companies admit customer applications get to market late, and 70% say that releases happen with reduced functionality.

Constraints are holding back the software supply chain, and at the same time, new delivery and integration approaches are introduced every day such as SaaS and Cloud-based apps. Take the impact of mobile – fully 63% of the subjects said that introducing mobile applications will cause development delays.

Service virtualization (or SV) is the automated practice of capturing and simulating any system or service IT teams depend on to deliver software. This is not like conventional hardware virtualization that copies some servers to free up hard drives and rack space in your own data center. We are talking about simulating every constraint in the software environment – the very distributed and over-utilized stuff that software teams need to interact throughout development, such as complex customer response data, core mainframes, integration middleware and performance data that is either costly or unavailable to you.

The study further shows that software delays and failures due to constraints can cause a huge potential impact on the enterprise: 96% cite a loss of reputation in the market, and 93% said losing customers to competitors would be a result.

In short – it’s time for enterprise IT to industrialize simulation and modeling, or suffer more delays and failures. While the concept is new for software, it shouldn’t be. Other industries such as aviation and automotive manufacturing have done it for years, using things like wind tunnels, flight simulators and computer models to avoid real-world constraints and do their engineering and testing much earlier, far before real products are assembled.  IT needs to apply these same principles of simulation and modeling.

A complimentary copy of the complete survey study document from analyst firm Coleman-Parkes is now available on the Service Virtualization community site (sign-in required for download) at http://servicevirtualization.com/study, and the survey graphs can also be viewed as a slideshow. I invite your questions and comments on this new research.

Shridhar Mittal, GM, CA Technologies LISA™ Solutions

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Tags: benefits, business, ca, coleman parkes, development, download, itko, lisa, report, research, More…results, service virtualization, shridhar, survey, svcvirt, transformation, virtualization

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