A study into the views of Application Development Managers and IT Executives, announced today by Original Software, revealed that the need for business agility is driving the growth in spend for Application Quality Management (AQM) and Automated Software Quality (ASQ) solutions. However, the same study also uncovered an incredible discontent with current solutions available in the market place, with 84% of respondents claiming that they are not meeting their needs.
The independent study, undertaken during March 2010, throughout the UK and USA, revealed that the need for enhanced business agility was the highest rated market driver for improving software quality, with 65% of respondents citing this as their main reason for investing in AQM and ASQ solutions. Almost half of the respondents claimed that the increasing complexity in their IT environments was also a key driver.
While the market focus on pure Agile development, the survey exposed that the real growth area is in mix and match development techniques, with 72% of organisations using combined approaches. Either developing their own hybrid blend, by choosing best practices from various methodologies, or by taking a combined approach, using different methodologies across departments and on different projects.
Colin Armitage, CEO of Original Software stated: “The study has shown that systems supporting these developments need to be able to cope with complex scenarios and multiple, concurrent process models. When asked about the shortfalls of their current AQM solution, it’s not surprising that 38% are crying out for an option that would allow them to map different processes and methodologies into their system and not be straight-jacketed into one particular way of working.”
Software quality does seem to have increased in importance within organisations in the last few years, with 75% of companies recognising that ensuring application quality is vital to their business success. This is a substantial increase and a positive move from a year and a half ago when Original Software conducted a similar survey and found that many still viewed ensuring software quality as a nice-to-have or non-essential practice.
The study also revealed that IT budgets for AQM and Automated Software Quality (ASQ) are beginning to look healthier with 43% expecting their budgets to increase, (up from 21% in the 2008 survey). Only 10% expected spend on Quality Assurance to decrease (down from 31% last time).
The 84% discontent with current solutions is mainly attributable to the way development teams are now working. With more complexity in IT projects and a need to respond faster to changing markets, development teams have had to adapt the way they work. The solutions they are using are just not meeting these new requirements. 37% of respondents suffer from a lack of cross-project information and require solutions to provide a unified view of all projects currently underway. 36% would like to see a solution that allows more effective communication and collaboration between team members.
With the current recession driving the need for organisations having to do more with less, optimising resources and enhancing productivity is key for AQM and ASQ solutions. 34% of those surveyed think that their systems are not user-friendly enough. 32% would like to be able to better manage their resources and 28% want a solution to provide them with real-time visibility into project status. The ability to be able to personalise the information users view and to be able to better trace requirements throughout the lifecycle, are also widely desired, with 22% of respondents unable to achieve these goals with their current solutions.
“Flexibility is vital when it comes to AQM solutions of the future. Businesses are being driven towards being more agile, so it stands to reason that users are demanding dynamic solutions that can adapt to business changes quickly and easily. AQM that supports a mixture of development techniques is now absolutely essential and vendors that don’t respond to this are not reacting to customers quickly enough. The future of AQM has to be focused on providing better visibility, collaboration and control across multiple projects.” Armitage concluded.