The fact that a much larger percentage of companies now recognize they are software companies that happen to specialize in a specific vertical industry is now putting a lot of pressure on developers, according to a new survey of 750 development team leaders in the United States and the UK conducted by Testplant, a provider of tools that automate application testing.
The survey finds that 42 percent of the respondents claim they are expected to design, develop and test apps in an unrealistic amount of time. More than one-third (36 percent) also report they are not given enough time to ensure apps are properly tested before deployment, while 56 percent note that use of outdated techniques and tools is holding them back from meeting the demands of the digital world.
Because of this combination of factors, nearly half the respondents (49 percent) say they are deploying applications before they go through an ideal testing amount of testing, and 45 percent admit to putting applications into production that will perform below initial requirements.
Dr. John Bates, CEO of Testplant, says it’s a matter of time before IT organizations will have to rely more on tools that automate much of the testing process, as pressure on DevOps teams to roll out new applications and update existing ones is only going to increase. The survey respondents (60 percent) say most of the pressure to accelerate software development is being driven from within the organization itself. But nearly half (49 percent) say pressure comes from competitors. As more organizations realize their competitive differentiation comes from the software they develop, there’s now a lot more focus on accelerating application development, says Bates.
The survey also notes that the applications being built are more complex than ever. Over the next 12 to 18 months, half the respondents (50 percent) say their company will develop more apps using components for an internet of things (IoT) environment. Well over half (58 percent) also say their company will develop more apps with artificial intelligence (AI) components, and 62 percent say their company will increase the amount of applications that incorporate machine and deep learning algorithms.
When it comes to deploying applications, automation is ranked as the most critical challenge by 67 percent of the respondents, and 70 percent claim they are now more focused on automated testing today than they were in the past.
In total, 75 percent of the respondents say that with access to better tools, the applications deployed by their team would have a greater impact on the business. A full 81 percent also say that with more time, applications deployed by their team would have a greater impact on the business.
Unfortunately, more time for application development is luxury most business don’t have today. Not only is a wave of digital business innovation is making it easier for startups to not only enter markets, but companies that traditionally have focused in one market segment are now extending their reach to adjacent areas. The difference between surviving and being made obsolete now comes down the level of customer experience an organization can deliver by the applications it makes available to customers.
Unfortunately, when it comes to those applications, customers tend to be unforgiving. Once bad application experience and many of them will move on to try an application developed by a rival. Bates notes that too many organizations still seem to think they can test their applications on end users on the assumption they can fix any issue that comes up rapidly. In reality, rather than participate in what amounts to an extended beta testing process, most end users will simply look for a better alternative application experience.
In short, the difference between success and complete failure now hinges on the level of quality application testing that can be implemented in the shortest amount of time possible.