Miguel Tam, senior product marketing manager at Serena Software, says:

We recently announced the results of an annual survey on application development and delivery priorities and initiatives for 2013. The survey,conducted at Gartner’s recent Application Architecture, Development and Integration (AADI) Summit, showed delivering applications faster and aligning IT to business goals as the highest priorities for 2013. These findings underscore the trend that online enterprises have elevated themselves past departmental IT concerns. Instead, the survey results show they are now focusing on the competitive goals of the business itself.

The third survey of its kind, the research uncovered changing IT priorities, as both reducing application costs and moving applications to the cloud were reported much less of a priority in 2013 compared to last year. Both fell multiple spots on the one to ten number scale of priority, the same measurement tool used in last year’s survey as well.

A graphic summarizing the survey findings can be found here: http://ser.so/app-dev-infographic.

Almost a hundred survey respondents many senior level IT executives from financial services, public sector, IT services and healthcare organizations reported that release management continues to be a major challenge, especially important due to IT’s priority of meeting the increasing demands from the business. Almost two-thirds of the respondents reported they release more applications, yet feel the process is less than optimal. In fact, 11 percent reported more than five times the number of releases than last year. Another 47 percent reported they are actively improving their release management systems.

The survey also covered top Application Development initiatives for 2013. For the third year in a row, managing applications as a business process came in as the most important initiative for the coming year. End-to-end traceability and application development tool integration remain unchanged from last year’s survey, coming in at number two and three respectively. While priorities have shifted over the last two years from cost-focused to business-focused, the research shows a process-based approach remains paramount for IT success.

Other survey results revealed:
  • 59 percent of the respondents cited delivering applications faster as the top application development priority in 2013
  • 48 percent cited better alignment to business needs as the top priority, more than double the percentage of last year’s survey
  •  62 percent of respondents cited managing application development as a business process as “very important to extremely important” to their organization
  • 61 percent said having end-to-end traceability (from code in production back to the business requirements) is “very important to extremely important
  • 36 percent cited developing mobile applications as an important development priority in 2013.

At Serena, we orchestrate IT for enterprise organizations across the end-to-end application delivery lifecycle. IT organizations can coordinate disparate processes, multiple tools and globally distributed teams from initial business request, all the way to final production release. We help IT engage more rapidly and accurately with the business, accelerate globally distributed water-scrum-fall development and deliver applications more frequently into production – all while maintaining enterprise visibility and compliance to corporate and regulatory standards.

This year’s survey clearly indicates that IT has reached its goal of being seen as just as important to overall company success as the other key business groups. With that responsibility comes expectations, however, and now IT has a whole new level of challenges. In order to deliver on these new business-focused expectations, IT requires an integrated, end-to-end process for IT to repeatedly and consistently deliver quality apps. Squeezing out costs has taken a back seat to delivering what the business really needs – the delivery of quality applications. Speed and business alignment will take priority over development costs and efficiency—a first in the world of app dev.