Software delivery has never been more critical to the success of business in every industry. It’s also never been more complex. With the growing challenges of complexity, how can engineering teams succeed?
After analyzing millions of workflows from more than 50,000 organizations across the world, here are a few truths of software delivery today.
Businesses will face increased outages and security risks if they don’t understand what’s in their code
Software supply chains include anything that impacts an application from development through production. As we prioritize speed, we rely less and less on custom code, and more and more on libraries built by others. Business leaders need to understand what’s in their codebase to understand where they are vulnerable and where they need to invest to secure their supply chain.
Shoring up the supply chain is about more than just security — studies reveal that individual businesses are risking up to $126 million in lost revenue through ineffective software delivery alone. Most bugs and breaks are avoidable productivity killers that bear unnecessary costs.
Great software delivery is a constant loop, not a linear process
Great developer teams prioritize being in a state of deploy-readiness and they recover from any failed runs by fixing or reverting in under an hour. In other words, great software development is considered a constant - not an end state. The goal isn’t to make updates to your application; the goal is to constantly innovate on your software while preventing the introduction of faulty changes.
Automation is the key to a “secure by design” software supply chain
Recent data shows us that Mean Time to Recovery increases across the board for the end-of-year holidays, even more than it increased during the first year of COVID. This time of year routinely sees both an increase in attacks and fewer team members on staff. Automation is critical to plugging the gap, proving that a secure software supply chain needs automation to minimize disruption.
Focusing on testing, whether it’s practices like test-driven development (TDD), or integrating validation into your normal development process at all phases of the SDLC, will give you confidence, even when headcount is low. Small teams can compete with larger ones if they prioritize automation because they can confidently rely on their tooling during times of uncertainty.
Happy developers and great software delivery are not mutually exclusive
Duration, Success Rate, Mean Time to Recovery, and Throughput are four baseline metrics that individually give us benchmarks on high performing teams. They also inform the dynamics that help developers stay in flow. The metrics that influence great software delivery go hand in hand with the metrics that influence developer productivity and satisfaction.
Change validation is the next frontier of software delivery
Even the most gifted team of engineers cannot comprehend all of the components and moving parts that go into the products they build and operate, yet they’re still expected to deliver software incredibly fast with no bugs or vulnerabilities. The only way to manage this complexity is through change validation, which allows you to truly know whether changes to your code are working as intended before releasing software to customers.
The pressures of ‘shifting left' will grow
A survey from Tidelift and The New Stack found that daily work for developers is blocked by obstacles and inefficiencies. These do not come from their primary objective, writing code - but from the ancillary requirements of their jobs. Then the pressure to move work closer to the design and development phase earlier in the process adds to development team pressure.
Innovators are finding this easier through the injection of AI-powered tools into their codebase. This supports three key areas: Enhancing understanding of your code; increasing software quality; and increasing code security. It helps users surface intelligence and automation directly to their workflows. Such automation is essential for improving time allocation, taking away routine tasks and allowing teams to take on more innovation and complex and rewarding jobs.
No matter your industry or the stage of your company, software delivery is the foundation of modern business. It’s your most strategic asset and your biggest vulnerability. 2022 is the year software delivery must rise to the top of every leader’s agenda. The success and survival of your business depend on it.