Improving Software Quality to Drive Business Agility Sponsored by: Coverity Inc.
Software drives competitive business success in a global economy. In that context, software quality is key, and costs of defects late in the life cycle become prohibitive. Increasingly, therefore, we see organizations pushing quality (including security) initiatives, even in a difficult economy. Yet organizations have been releasing software and dealing with defects post-deployment for years. Why do current approaches tend to be inadequate? Companies make money and support business operations with their software using traditional testing techniques and dealing with some level of bugs post-release. Why is it the case that old quality models are falling short to sustain software development and deployment?
With greater complexity from technology, software sourcing, compliance, security, and other areas, addressing software defects has never been more challenging. Keeping up with this level of complexity to retain software agility and profitability demands consistent, reenergized, and targeted approaches to quality. Education is also vital. IDC conducted a survey in 2Q08 to explore current practices in, costs of, and attitudes toward software quality. Even as organizations understand greater complexity levels and acknowledge significant labor to repair software problems, they tend to underestimate current and ongoing costs for defect repair and business impact. This level of optimism can mask the need to evaluate and rework existing quality approaches.
Users must assess the maturity of their quality strategies to provide a gap analysis and evolve toward more effective quality best practices and organizational strategies. They should also evaluate automated testing technology in line with the highest quality pain points and adopt appropriate tools in conjunction with effective process and organizational change.
During 2Q08, IDC conducted a survey of 139 North American companies that forms the basis for data analyzed in this paper. The companies ranged in size from 250 employees to 10,000 or more employees (57% had 1,000+ employees). IT management, IT operations, and software development represented 86% of those responding (with 50% being in IT management). These survey results incorporated responses from 62% respondents who identified themselves specifically as directors and managers. The level of executive response indicates that these managers were engaged enough with quality issues to answer in-depth questions about testing, defects, and code analysis. As organizations need to shift approaches,