A survey of more than 500 IT and development professionals conducted by Atlassian finds two-thirds of respondents have slowed down the frequency of software delivery since the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Patrick Hill, head of reliability process at Atlassian, said while developers may be creating more code than ever while they work from home, IT operations teams working from home are struggling to keep pace.
In fact, the survey finds more than half of respondents (51%) reported incident response times have been slower since they began working remotely. At the same time, there’s been a 73% increase in demand for the digital services being provided, the survey finds.
It’s too early to say to what degree slowing down the application delivery process might be a byproduct of the “new normal.” It’s more likely that IT operations teams need more time to re-engineer processes to return to the software release levels typically achieved prior to the pandemic, said Hill.
In many cases, IT teams may also need more time to shift toward cloud-based frameworks for managing application release cycles that can be accessed from anywhere. Hill said Atlassian has seen a significant increase in the use of its IT management platforms since March. New signups have increased by approximately 125%, he noted.
It’s also unclear to what degree an application release backlog may be building inside organizations. While developers may be launching more projects, Hill said many of those projects may be only to address bug fixes. As such, it may not take that long for IT operations teams to recover from the disruption caused by the pandemic.
Nevertheless, Hill said most organizations are still coming to terms with the human impact of the pandemic. Many organizations, for example, might not decide to bring IT teams back into the office at all. In fact, there may not be any office to return to—many organizations might conclude there is no need, especially if productivity levels have not declined substantially. No doubt many organizations consequently will be closely monitoring application release cycles in the weeks and months ahead to determine to what impact working from home is having on IT productivity.
Of course, not every member of the IT team is cut out to work from home. While many IT professionals may be introverts by nature, there are also a great many distractions at home that adversely impact productivity. Conversely, some IT professionals might even discover they have begun to work longer hours.
In the meantime, Hill said IT managers would be well-advised to focus more on outcomes than metrics. The amount of code being released in a given week is not likely to be as important as making sure the right code is being released at the right time. With more demand than ever for application services, the greater the need there is for DevOps teams to focus their efforts on the components of an application that make the most critical difference to the business.