Survey Finds Majority of Senior Software Business Leaders See Rise in Development Budgets

A recent survey of more than 6,000 senior-level business leaders and software development professionals found that 60 percent of respondents reported increases in 2009 IT development budgets, despite the uncertain global economic climate. In the survey sponsored by SoftServe, Inc. , provider of software consulting, development, testing and lifecycle services to IT decision-makers, 26 percent indicated that budgets had increased in excess of 10 percent over 2008 expenditures.

Beyond a majority increase in 2009 development budgets, other notable survey findings include:

  • When queried on third-party interaction and resources, 38 percent of organizations indicated the use of some type of software development outsourcing. While outsourcers varied widely by location, two-thirds (67 percent) of companies using offshore outsourcing did so in India, while Ukraine emerged neck-and-neck with China and other Eastern European companies as one of the top development locations to watch.
  • Nearly three-quarters (71 percent) of respondents listed new product or software development as a top priority for their organization, while cost- and expense-cutting followed with 51 percent; improving usability for the end user ranked third with 49 percent.
  • Forty-two percent favored agile methodologies as their software development models of choice, with the next method (waterfall) preferred by only 18 percent of those polled.
  • About one-third (36 percent) employed Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) as their process maturity and quality model with Six Sigma used by 25 percent.
  • Software development efforts focused specifically on enterprise applications were reported by 62 percent of respondents, and 51 percent said they were focused on Web-based applications.
  • Companies executed software customization and integration in varying systems and environments, with Microsoft Dynamics/SharePoint the most-used at 42 percent of organizations, and Oracle and SAP integration taking place at 38 percent and 29 percent, respectively.
  • Eighty-seven percent of respondents reported comfort with their company’s basic coding skills, but overall design, process and execution approaches to development were reported to come up lacking. In fact, 36 percent of respondents indicated a need for improved project management and identified project scope and estimation as an area for concern. Thirty-four percent said they needed help in defining business requirements for development projects.

“During this economic recession, the competitive application outsourcing arena has become even more fierce as customers push for lower cost and improved operational efficiencies. Flexible, consistent delivery and management models, alongside scalability, reliability and high performance, will be critical as new hosting models become viable alternatives to the enterprise,” writes Rona Shuchat, director of Application Outsourcing Services at IDC.

The online survey of trends in the broader software development industry was conducted from April-June 2009. Respondents were professionals from independent software vendors, enterprises (greater than 500 employees), small-to-medium enterprises (less than 500 employees) and other organizations for which software development was a key business focus or priority.

“Even amidst reports of global economic uncertainty and confusion, many companies are choosing to steel themselves for recovery by investing more, not less, in business-critical software development initiatives,” said Taras Kytsmey, president, SoftServe. “Though overall findings of this survey point to project management and design of such initiatives as ongoing challenges, the most important thing is that these organizations recognize the need for improvement in the people, processes, tools and communication employed in these efforts. This data gives companies a starting point for streamlining development efforts onward into 2010 and ensuring that development initiatives translate into greater return on software investments.”

About SoftServe :

SoftServe ( ) provides software consulting, development, testing and lifecycle services to technology providers and IT decision-makers. Every SoftServe team carries a compelling combination of experience, knowledge and commitment to client service, all delivered in a proven process that drives successful project management. Committed to helping its clients always be a step ahead, SoftServe has developed and uses the best-in-class tools and technologies. Above all, SoftServe knows that its success is built on positive client relationships, and the people, processes and tools that enable these relationships are the keys to that success. With headquarters in Ft. Myers, Fla., and an award-winning development organization based in Ukraine, SoftServe has successfully completed more than 2,000 projects for more than 100 companies worldwide.