Survey: Serena Finds Speed, Business Alignment Top 2013 AppDev Priorities

For 2013, enterprise IT priorities are changing, according to a study released by Serena Software. This year, IT intends to focus on delivering applications faster and better align IT to business goals. Last year, the move to mobile and cloud were the top goals. IDN talks with Serena’s senior product marketing manager Miguel Tam.

Tags: appdev, lifecycle, Serena, survey, Orchestrated IT,

2013_priorities_01This year, IT intends to focus on delivering applications faster and better align IT to business goals, according to a study released by Serena Software. Last year, cutting appdev costs and the move to mobile and cloud were the top goals.

“Reducing application costs and moving applications to the cloud were reported much less of a priority in 2013 compared to last year. Both fell multiple spots on the one to ten number scale of priority, the same measurement tool used in last year’s survey as well,” according to Serena’s survey summary.

Big picture, the survey found IT is moving from tactical, project-specific thinking to a company-wide strategic perspective. “Priorities have shifted over the last two years from cost-focused to business-focused,” Serena Software’s senior product marketing manager, Miguel Tam, told IDN. “This year’s survey clearly indicates that IT has reached its goal of being seen as just as important to overall company success as the other key business groups.”

"Priorities have shifted over the last two years from cost-focused to business-focused."

Miguel Tam
senior product marketing manager

To deliver of these new goals, IT needs faster and more accurate testing, as well as better ways to manage its apps – whether on-premise, mobile or cloud, Tam added. Almost two-thirds of respondents said they plan to release more applications this year (11% report five times more releases) yet they said their processes are “less than optimal.”

This was a top point for Tam. “Only by looking at the big picture – and integrating with systems that are beyond development – can development release a successful app.”

Top needs in 2013 were: managing applications as a business process; end-to-end traceability; and application development tool integration, he added.

Other notable survey results include:


  • 62 percent cited managing application development as a business process as “very important to extremely important” to their organizations
  • 61 percent said having end-to-end traceability (from code in production back to the business requirements) is “very important to extremely important”
  • 59 percent said delivering applications faster is their top application development priority in 2013
  • 48 percent said better alignment to business needs is the top priority in 2013 – more than double compared to last year’s survey
  • 36 percent said developing mobile apps is an important development priority in 2013

The survey is based on responses from almost 100 IR professionals attending the Gartner’s Application Architecture, Development and Integration (AADI) Summit.

Serena Notes Why End-to-End Integration for
Technical, Business Stakeholders is Key to 2013 Goals

To meet these new goals, integration will play a key role for both technical and business issues, Tam told IDN.  

“Integration is definitely important to speeding up app releases, especially as applications are becoming more interdependent and intertwined with other internal and external systems. Of course, integration to applications, data and logic are essential to streamlining testing, security and release of code,” Tam told IDN.

That said, Tam also elaborated on the business-integration dimension to the issue. “But a key trend for modern apps is to consider ‘non-development’ systems and data, so as apps can be rolled out more programmatically. For example, as development is ready to roll out an app, how integrated is it with the newest marketing promotions and programs? As development teams scope out sprints, how have they integrated with service and support systems to incorporate operational issues and field-reported defects?” he added. 

Looking at integration from both angles is important to helping IT handle the exploding volume of apps they’re working on. “It’s [becoming] more critical for organizations to tie their tools together, both from a technical and from a process perspective. By having a more streamlined process, innovation can be delivered much more quickly,” Tam said.

IDN asked Tam to connect the dots between the survey findings and Serena’s product approach for 2013.

“Serena feels that technical integration continues to be important, but there needs to be much more emphasis placed on how tools and people work together in an orchestrated process,” he said. “It’s one thing to have an IDE sync with other systems, but if no one knows when code was updated, why it was updated and who else needs to do something now that it’s been updated, then technical integration is nice but not very useful.”

“Serena’s approach is to look at how tools across the entire application lifecycle should integrate with each other from a process perspective. By having a process-based approach to integration, people can work more efficiently while automatically ensuring traceability across artifacts and tools,” Tam told IDN.

Serena is the creator of an Orchestrated IT approach for the application delivery lifecycle -- from the initial business request to final production to final delivery, according to Tam. This approach allows IT to follow the complete appdev process from end-to-end so they can more easily coordinate disparate processes and work intelligently with multiple tools and dispersed dev teams, he added.