A survey of 750 IT and engineering leaders found that while a full 83% of respondents agree that interdepartmental communication is critical for successful software development, only 41% of respondents view cross-collaboration to be a priority.
The survey gathered responses from within organizations that generated more than $50 million in annual revenue and was conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Atlassian.
Overall, more than two-thirds of respondents (68%) said more departments than ever are involved with software development. Overall, 80% said they need to improve collaboration with other departments, but 82% don’t feel particularly confident about their ability to accomplish that goal. Three quarters (75%) also noted the need to improve collaboration within their own department.
Well under half of the respondents (42%) said their culture, processes and tools enable the real-time teamwork and free-flowing information that help leaders make sound decisions.
Among the subset of respondents that are highly collaborative, however, more than (53%) said they see greater customer satisfaction, with 59% reporting increased revenue because of that increased customer satisfaction.
Suzie Prince, head of product for DevOps at Atlassian, said the challenge organizations face is finding a way to successfully employ a mix of synchronous versus asynchronous communication mediums to better enable collaboration. In fact, collaboration as part of any DevOps culture needs to be a C-level discussion to consistently accelerate the rate at which software can be developed and deployed, she added. The core issue is that not every management team is equally comfortable with open communications between the various departments that make up an organization, said Prince.
It’s critical for C-level executives to set that tone and lead by example; DevOps best practices can’t only be adhered to by development teams. The entire business needs to embrace DevOps best practices as an operating model for the business to really attain the maximum benefit.
Unfortunately, DevOps practices within development teams have been unevenly adopted, so it’s often very difficult to get the rest of the business to embrace DevOps principles. Organizations that do embrace DevOps, however, tend to be much further down the path toward becoming a digital business and can more adroitly take advantage of business opportunities as they arise or shift strategy as changing business conditions may warrant. In fact, organizations that embraced DevOps best practices arguably fared better during the economic decline that followed the onset of the global COVID-19 pandemic that took every business and IT leader by surprise.
It’s not clear from the Atlassian survey results if a DevOps divide is starting to emerge that makes some organizations more competitive than their rivals. In theory, at least, if every organization is now a software company that happens to build something or deliver a service, then the faster they can reliably build and deliver applications the greater the competitive advantage they can attain and sustain.
There are, of course, a whole host of factors that determine how competitive any organization might be. However, in the age of digital business transformation, it’s clear that being able to build and deploy software at a fairly regular cadence is the new table stakes required for simple survival.