Developers under pressure in race to the cloud, study finds

A report published this week says development teams are under pressure and under-supported, as organisations race to the cloud amid digital transformations

With enterprises racing to the cloud and executing digital transformations, a newly-published report is examining the challenges faced by development teams

The global survey of 650 senior IT decision makers by Couchbase found that development teams are under pressure and under-supported. The report says 88% of respondents are aware of challenges faced by development teams, with the top issues including that deadlines and agility requirements were difficult to meet (42%); that they were being asked to do too much in too little time (40%); or that they did not have the skills (24%) or technology (23%) they needed.

Digital transformations putting developers front and centre

“Organisations need to understand that when they are undertaking digital transformation, what they are actually doing is putting developers front and centre,” said Ravi Mayuram, chief technology officer of Couchbase. 

“The modern business depends on the developer and development agility more than ever before. Development teams are not assisting the business, they are leading it to new frontiers through digital transformation. That’s why they need to be given the right resources: be it cloud-based infrastructure, CI/CD friendly tooling and the right training. This is what will ensure success in these times of product-led transformation and growth.”

Lack of resources frustrating developers

Despite development teams’ extensive contributions to digital transformation and innovation initiatives, the report said a lack of resources and communication with IT leaders is still frustrating them. This is preventing businesses from making the most of their potential, and moving with greater velocity.

The findings also show that 86% of respondents report obstacles in supporting development teams: The key issues that these enterprises report include difficulty redeploying development teams rapidly to work on new projects when needed (32%); ensuring development teams always have the right technology (31%); and identifying and solving the problems their teams face (31%). Additionally, 40% of respondents did not know for certain whether their development teams were behind or ahead of schedule and 27% found it challenging to follow the development team’s progress to ensure they are meeting their goal.

Digital investment is rising as enterprises plan to increase transformation spend

It also found that growth of development teams has stagnated, while digital investment is rising: Despite enterprises planning to increase digital transformation spend by 46% in 2022, developer teams only grew by an average of three percent in the last year. In order to bridge the gap, organisations will need to invest in growing their teams while making existing teams more efficient.

There’s opportunity to further empower developer teams: 30% of respondents say that the pandemic has taught them how to empower development teams, yet 24% find it difficult to gauge whether development teams are engaged in and enthusiastic about their work. The challenge now is understanding how to get developers excited about their work and demonstrating the results. For example, providing them with their desired technologies and allowing them to build with velocity the way they want to. 

Without the right support, development teams aren’t able to drive digital transformation as quickly as the business may need them to. 34% of respondents said pressure from developers to support agile development and innovation was a driver for digital transformation projects, showing developers’ direct impact on the speed that an organisation can move. Yet 19% said development teams’ inability to meet goals set for them had prevented their organisation from pursuing new digital transformation projects in the last 12 months.


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