Software Development Failures Plague North American Enterprises: Study

According to a recent study from CA Technologies, software development constraints and failures continue to hamper North American enterprises.

Despite the availability of a wealth of development tools and agile methodologies, an alarming 36 percent of the 200 North American organizations surveyed in a recent study found defects in new releases that had gone into production, according to CA Technologies.

In addition, only 4 percent of those surveyed claimed that errors are never found in production releases. This means that many organizations are launching buggy applications to market and having to solve for them later with software updates and patches.

New approaches to testing and modeling software can help address this issue. One example is service virtualization, or the use of a completely virtual environment for software application testing that cuts out constraints or barriers to delivery, said Shridhar Mittal, general manager of service virtualization at CA in a blog post.

Meanwhile, more than half--60 percent--of respondents in the North American 'Business Benefits of Service Virtualization' study said customer-facing applications are delayed as a result of endemic constraints within the software development and testing environment, including limited access to infrastructure, databases and undeveloped applications. To compound the situation, applications are often released with reduced functionality, according to 70 percent of those surveyed.

Moreover, the majority of the 200 in-house software development executives and managers from large enterprises—those with revenue of $1 billion or more—surveyed said they are aware of the significant consequences that result from endemic constraints across software development and testing. This includes loss of reputation and customers switching to competitors.

"North American businesses are under pressure to deliver increasingly complex applications, and at a much faster rate than ever before to keep pace with customer demands," Mittal said in a statement. "Unfortunately, IT budgets are not increasing at the rate of change inherent in today's highly distributed composite applications. This causes serious constraints to software development, resulting in delays and failures in delivering new software features to market."

Delays in application development and testing are negatively impacting businesses; 70 percent of the study respondents report reduced functionality and 60 percent report late delivery of new customer-facing applications. In part, this is due to the increased pressure and demand for highly sophisticated applications, with 66 percent of respondents stating that their approach to software development and testing will have to change as a result of massive growth, particularly across mobile.

The pressures highlighted by this independent study point to the need for improved development processes and faster, more effective testing, Mittal said. North American survey respondents also identified the potential benefits of pursuing updated approaches to include increased quality (81 percent), faster time to market (76 percent) and reduced costs (71 percent).