A recent ExecutiveBrief Software Development Trends Survey of more than 500 senior-level business leaders and software development professionals indicates a more optimistic outlook for business in 2010 as compared to 2009, with significant budget increases and a return to hiring.
In the survey sponsored by SoftServe, Inc., global provider of proven high quality software development, testing and consulting, respondents expressed optimism by indicating they planned to spend more on software development in 2010, as well as hire more permanent staff as compared to 2009. Supporting an outlook for growth, far fewer cited cost reduction and expense management among their top priorities.
Beyond the promise of an improved business environment, the survey indicated clearer preference in the need for software development support and preferred methodologies. Here are several of the key findings from the 2010 survey:
- Seventy-seven percent (77%) indicated their software development budgets would increase in 2010, with 36% indicating their budget is likely to grow greater than 10% as compared to last year. Only 8% believed their 2010 budget would decrease by 10% or more as compared to 2009.
- Hiring is a priority with 53% of respondents sharing they plan to increase permanent headcount in 2010, up from 25% in 2009. That’s a huge percentage increase compared to a year ago and indication of optimism in the growing need for software development support.
- When asked about their top software development priorities for 2010, one-third of respondents identified reducing operational cost and expenses among their top priorities, that’s significantly lower than 2009 respondents in which 51% agreed lowering cost and expenses were a top objective.
- While the survey results showed less interest in cost and expense reduction, the result data indicates a noticeable increase in the interest in new product and application support. Eighty-six percent (86%) responded that support for new products and applications are among their top priorities for 2010. That’s up from 70% in 2009.
- Regarding process maturity and quality models of choice, one-third chose ISO 9000, as compared to 22% in 2009. Eighteen percent (18%) selected Six Sigma, down from 25% in 2009.
- Agile increased its dominance as the software development methodology of choice with over one-half selecting its use as their preferred method, notably up from 42% in 2009. Iterative was the second most selected methodology with 13% giving it their top choice.
- Software areas needing greatest improvement changed significantly in 2010. Of note, process modeling fell to merely 11% of response, down from 24% in 2009. User interface design increased to 37%, up from 27% the previous year.
The online survey of 2010 trends in software development industry was conducted from May 25 to June 14. Respondents were professionals from independent software vendors, SaaS providers, enterprises (greater than 500 employees), small-to-medium enterprises (less than 500 employees), software development firms, and other organizations for which software development was a key business focus or priority. Respondents were predominately senior-level executives in software development markets and software development engineers and professionals.
“The 2010 survey was surprising in some respects with regard to its implied optimism,” said Mary Brandon, VP of Marketing, SoftServe. “Survey findings of projected budget increases, increased hiring, and reduced need for cost and expense reduction support indicate software development professionals are bullish on their immediate future. It’s something to watch as we begin the second half of 2010 and soon enter 2011. Another item to watch is the shift in desired support from items such as process modeling to user interfaces. This shift could be linked to the reduced need for cost reduction and increased optimism related to new products and applications in a competitive marketplace. There’s a lot to watch over the next year.”