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Software Developers Influence Digital Business Growth

The rapidly growing demand for modern enterprise software development skills and experience exceeds the current supply of qualified candidates. This increase has created a seller's market, where talented developers have the upper hand in negotiations with prospective employers.

Moreover, the roles and responsibilities of developers continue to expand. International Data Corporation (IDC) survey results show that developers are the architects and visionaries of digital transformation and have an end-to-end line of sight into the processes that govern the creation of digital business solutions.

This finding underscores the importance of software developers to both information technology (IT) vendors and buyers because developers have insights into how the operational efficiency of development processes can be improved.

Enterprise Software DevOps Market Development

"Given their role in designing, building, and executing digital strategies, developers have become indispensable to the modern enterprise," said Arnal Dayaratna, vice president at IDC. "Developers are product designers, product managers, business analysts, builders, strategists, and sales professionals all rolled into one."

This expansion of the responsibilities means that developers are critical to the success and growth of enterprises and organizations as measured by their ability to innovate, execute on strategic and operational plans, and pivot business operations in response to a rapidly changing business landscape.

Key findings from IDC's latest survey include:

Full-stack developers are the most common developer role. They have proficiency in both the development of business logic and the management of data, as well as the development of rich front-end experiences that are consumed by end-users.

Developer responsibilities have expanded to include deployment, the implementation of automation, performance management, user experience, and security. They are responsible for the full lifecycle of application development, including the implementation of DevOps and development-related automation, plus the implementation of UX and security.

Developers feel they have the freedom and autonomy to select developer tools and infrastructures. Given this independence, technology suppliers need to ensure that software developers are familiar with -- and have easy access to -- their full portfolio of developer tools products, and services.

Developers should be considered technology buyers because they have a strong influence over purchasing decisions. Between 70 and 79 percent of developers say they have significant or complete influence over purchasing and procurement decisions, including decisions related to the modernization of legacy apps, cloud computing adoption, and cloud vendor selection.

Java is the most popular programming language. Java developer skills retain their relevance across a multitude of use cases such as enterprise applications, web development, data science, AI/ML, AR/VR, and IoT while modernization efforts have made it more compatible with cloud-native infrastructures such as containers.

Developers are deploying production-grade applications to cloud services: cloud computing is no longer principally used for development and test purposes but is also used for production deployments -- either in the form of IaaS, PaaS, SaaS, or a hosted private cloud.

DevOps is now a mainstream attribute of contemporary development. This means that automation is increasingly part of development-related operations, and developers can now deploy code and update applications more frequently. This transition suggests growth opportunities for tools vendors that support DevOps practices.

Organizations are investing in legacy app modernization in earnest. In 2021, 86 percent of respondents noted that their organization had modernized more than 50 percent of their legacy applications, a notable increase from 65 percent in 2020.

This finding serves as a barometer for the pace of digital transformation initiatives and the importance of application development tools and services that facilitate modernization-related work.

Outlook for Enterprise DevOps Applications Growth

"The last year has made crystal clear the value that developers bring to their organizations through software-driven competitive differentiation, and agile development response to changing needs that were unanticipated for many organizations," said Al Gillen, vice president, at IDC.

That said, I believe more organizations will restructure compensation and benefit plans to both attract new software developer candidates and retain their current employees in essential roles for strategic projects.

Furthermore, the adoption of distributed workforce models should enable more CIOs and CTOs to compete effectively for the most qualified developer talent, wherever they reside.

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