Speed and Alignment Beat Cost In the World Application Development

By Ann All Application development is one of the most outsourced activities, according to recent surveys from Harvey Nash, Bluewolf and Computer Economics. In an interview with Global Delivery …

By Ann All

Application development is one of the most outsourced activities, according to recent surveys from Harvey Nash, Bluewolf and Computer Economics.

In an interview with Global Delivery Report, John Longwell, vice president of research for Computer Economics, cited a scarcity of in-demand dev skills and a need for speed as two big drivers for outsourcing application development.

Delivering applications faster was the top application development priority for attendees of Gartner’s Application Architecture, Development and Integration Summit, mentioned by 59 percent of respondents to a survey conducted by Serena Software at the event. Improved alignment with business objectives was the second top vote getter in the third annual survey, cited by 48 percent of respondents. The emphasis on alignment with business objectives marked a major shift, as it was the lowest-ranked priority for both 2011 and 2012.

Rounding out the top four priorities were expanding the use of Agile development methods and increasing innovation. These results would seem to bode well for nearshore application development. At delivery centers like the ones owned by TCS in Guadalajara Mexico, Montevideo Uruguay and Queretaro Mexico, Agile dev teams meet frequently with business stakeholders, establishing the kinds of connections that result in software that satisfies the stated business needs.

Not So Cost Conscious

In contrast, lowering application costs and moving apps to the cloud dropped significantly in importance when compared to Serena Software’s earlier surveys. Lowering costs, the No. 2 priority in 2011, fell three spots this year to land in the middle of the pack at No. 5.

“Squeezing out costs has taken a back seat to delivering what the business really needs – the delivery of quality applications. Speed and business alignment will take priority over development costs and efficiency—a first in the world of app dev,” said Miguel Tam, senior product marketing manager at Serena Software.

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Other points of interest from the survey:

Release management is a key challenge for respondents. Nearly two-thirds of respondents said they are releasing more applications than before (with 11 percent noting they are releasing more than five times the number of apps over the prior year), while 47 percent reported they are actively working to improve their release management systems.

For the third year in a row, managing applications as a business process came in as the most important initiative for the coming year.

This article was first appeared on NSAM’s sister publication Global Delivery Report.

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