Serena Software has announced the results of a global survey of nearly 1,000 IT professionals focused on IT trends and outlooks pertaining to application development practices and the wider impact that they have on data, software release management and IT assets as a whole.

In summary, the research finds that application development is going well within organisations, but the business-facing elements of the “total IT equation” are not at the same level.

This predicament leads us (if it is indeed true) to a position where Serena is able to suggest (although they would say this anyway wouldn’t they) that asset management, code controls and (Serena’s favourite subject) release management needs to be addressed.

Developers are fine, thanks for asking…

The suggestion is that the increasing usage of Agile software application development methodologies has helped improve team performance — and that this benefit can also be extended across the entire application lifecycle. Miguel Tam at Serena follows up on this by suggesting that IT can practically “forget” about development and instead concentrate on business outcomes (and so logically IT assets and their passage through the corporate data centre) instead.

Serena suggests that 33 percent of development costs are being wasted because of poor requirement practices. Consequently, IT organisations should invest more in requirements processes in order to apportion, control, map and manage IT assets as they are indeed created as part of the software application development process.

Releasing applications on time is seen as a major challenge — it got the lowest marks in terms of company satisfaction with their performance, according to Serena. Tam argues that companies’ IT functions “should revisit their deployment process”, so that they can find the right balance between speed and control in order to ensure they can repeatedly, quickly and confidently deploy their applications.

“The results of our application development survey offer invaluable insight into the areas of IT that are doing well and where more work is needed. In addition to learning about continued problems pertaining to application releases, we learned that IT also struggles with poor requirements across the entire IT management chain,” said Serena’s Miguel Tam.

The issue is at the front and back-end of development and these findings are consistent across all industries surveyed. They prove (so says Serena) that IT is nailing the development of what the customer asks for, but actually getting those applications and IT assets into the customer’s hand is a different story.