Report Reveals Developers Pressured by 'Race to the Cloud'

With enterprises racing to the cloud amid "digital transformations," a new report examines pressures faced by the front-line grunts tasked with enacting the nuts-and-bolts initiatives: developers.

The survey-based research from database specialist Couchbase is the latest of many to use the context of cloud computing to examine digital transformations -- variously described as the organizational adoption of digital technology to improve efficiency, value or innovation while creating new business processes (or modifying existing ones), culture and customer experiences to meet evolving business and market requirements.

The focus on developers, however, raises some unique issues.

Couchbase said the report examines "the challenges faced by development teams amid the race to the cloud and to execute on digital transformation initiatives." The company found that despite development teams' extensive contributions to digital transformation and innovation initiatives, those teams are still frustrated by a lack of resources and communication with IT leaders, which prevents enterprises from maximizing their potential and moving faster.

"Organizations need to understand that when they are undertaking digital transformation, what they are actually doing is putting developers front and center," said Ravi Mayuram, CTO 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."

The global survey backing the report was conducted by research firm Vanson Bourne, which polled 650 senior IT decision-makers.

"The findings revealed that 88 percent 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 percent); that they were being asked to do too much in too little time (40 percent); or that they did not have the skills (24 percent) or technology (23 percent) they needed," the company said in a Sept. 12 news release.

Developer Challenges
[Click on image for larger view.] Developer Challenges (source: Couchbase).

Conversely, challenges that businesses reported in their support of their development teams are more of a mixed bag, with seven different challenges reported by groups of developers ranging from 32 percent to 24 percent, with no overriding, dominant answer. That's reflected in the first of three main takeaways from the report as presented by Couchbase:

  • 86 percent 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 percent); ensuring development teams always have the right technology (31 percent); and identifying and solving the problems their teams face (31 percent). Additionally, 40 percent of respondents did not know for certain whether their development teams were behind or ahead of schedule and 27 percent found it challenging to follow the development team's progress to ensure they are meeting their goal.
    Developer Support Challenges
    [Click on image for larger view.] Developer Support Challenges (source: Couchbase).
  • Growth of development teams has stagnated, while digital investment is rising: Despite enterprises planning to increase digital transformation spend by 46 percent in 2022, developer teams only grew by an average of three percent in the last year. In order to bridge the gap, organizations will need to invest in growing their teams while making existing teams more efficient. This can explain why 32 percent of IT leaders are specifically investing in new technologies that make developers' jobs easier.
  • There's opportunity to further empower developer teams: 30 percent of respondents say that the pandemic has taught them how to empower development teams, yet 24 percent 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.

"There is no question that developers drive technology adoption," Couchbase said in a Sept. 12 blog post. "In fact, sometimes they can drive it so fast they leave the rest of the business behind. 81 percent of respondents said that development teams were adopting the cloud and other technologies faster than the rest of the business could keep pace. Harnessing this energy and enthusiasm can provide real benefits to organizations and help drive advancements. 34 percent of respondents said that pressure from developers to support agile development and innovation was a critical success factor for digital transformation projects. Good for those developers for speaking up!"

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.


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