Forrester Study: Key Capabilities for Mature Software Delivery

Written by: Marisa Shumway
3 min read

As organizations grow to the enterprise level, their software delivery life cycles (SDLC) can quickly become unmanageably complex. And that complexity often creates a domino effect of SDLC visibility and collaboration challenges that can, in turn, lead to serious security and risk concerns, never mind stunted revenue growth. So, what approaches can enterprises take to be more successful in software delivery and customer satisfaction? 

A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of CloudBees explores that question. Forrester surveyed 317 U.S. and European IT decision-makers about their SDLC and level of software delivery maturity. The companies were then grouped by maturity level to determine what factors create effective software delivery practices.

The study determined that "Effective software delivery practices require organizational visibility, communication and a fit-for-purpose, simplified toolchain. Firms that excel at these capabilities have more successful DevOps transformations, exceed business objectives and grow revenue faster than those that do not." Particularly noteworthy is that "High-maturity organizations are...almost three times as likely to be growing at 15% or more year over year."

An analysis of the survey findings points to six recommendations for maturing your software delivery life cycle. In this blog post, we share three of them:

1. Automate, automate, automate. It comes as no surprise that automation is key to managing governance, risk and compliance. Yet a surprisingly small number of enterprises have achieved this critical maturity point. Only 27% of respondents said that they practice continuous deployment with automation from commit through testing, build/integration, package and final release. As Forrester notes, “Automation is a key enabler for software delivery, as it allows developers to focus on their key creative tasks while ensuring that quality checks and other release imperatives are routinely covered.”

2. Manage continuous delivery and release automation (CDRA) tools in one platform. Software is ever evolving and, alarmingly, only 15% of IT decision-makers surveyed said they have all the information they need in a single study to understand current software release status. By consolidating all your CDRA tools into one platform, organizations can exponentially increase visibility, consistency and collaboration throughout the development life cycle. Keeping your CDRA tools together also expands your audit readiness because you can measure and manage teams and processes more effectively. 

3. Implement value stream mapping. Even among high-maturity organizations in the survey, fewer than 40% say they have strong coordination and high visibility across the SDLC. Value stream mapping—which provides a visual representation that makes it easy to track changes, detect stalled or delayed changes, identify failures or blockages and view contributing components—would provide those organizations with full visibility into their software delivery processes so they can analyze and improve them.

The takeaway? Forrester’s findings show that automation, full visibility and managed complexity are paramount for achieving software delivery maturity—and resultant higher business performance. Plus, the benefits rise as an organization matures, so the more you do, the more results you're likely to see. 

For more stats and tips on how to boost software delivery practices, download your free copy of “Modernizing Software Delivery With End-to-End Automation, Orchestration, And Collaboration”.

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