Overview

Thank you for completing the Benchmark Questionnaire.

Leading companies drive innovation and create customer value by being responsive to their customers’ needs, bringing features to market quickly, and building software that is scalable, stable, secure, fast, and flexible. Business and technology leaders of radical enterprises understand that attaining high developer productivity and operational efficiencies in software development is of primary strategic importance.

The Benchmark provides a quantitative set of parameters for incumbents transforming into software companies and includes measurable attributes organizations can use to gauge the growth of their software development capability. Based on a survey of over 1,500 IT executives and developers, the Benchmark compares performance in 18 indicators of software development excellence.

See how your responses stack up against industry standards.

Your Results

Alignment to Strategy

To create customer value at startup speed, the work of software development teams and IT operators need to be fully aligned to the broader goals of the business. Budget flexibility, developer time dedicated to software development, and rapid responsiveness to customer feedback are key indicators of success.

1. Budget Flexibility

Your organization's annual IT budget is fully committed.

Insurance

All industries

34% of your organization's IT budget is set aside for ad-hoc software projects.

Leaders in software development are able to rapidly and reliably address changes in direction in service of the business. Relevant attributes include highly flexible budgets that have a higher percentage set aside for ad-hoc software projects.

2. Investment Ratios

Your organization’s IT budget allocates equal spending to both developing / refactoring software and operating / maintaining IT systems.

Insurance

All industries

Highly effective organizations are able to allocate a greater proportion of their IT budgets to developing software to deliver differentiated customer value than to operating and maintaining IT systems.

3. Customer Feedback Frequency

Your organization gets monthly insight and feedback on how users are using your key applications.

Insurance

All industries

Uncovering opportunities for creating customer value increases with more frequent collection of customer feedback. Leaders in this category strive to collect customer insights continuously.

4. Responsiveness to User Feedback

For high priority changes, your organization takes 3 days to deploy a simple change after receiving user feedback.

Your Organization

Insurance

All Industries

For high priority changes, your organization takes 3 days to deploy a complex change after receiving user feedback.

Your Organization

Insurance

All Industries

In addition to collecting customer insights, leaders in software development quickly act and deliver on them. The more rapidly you are able to respond to customer feedback, the more likely you are to deliver real value.

Product Development

Product Development provides a comparative snapshot of software development teams’ productivity and efficiency. Because so much depends on the unique circumstances of each individual company, there are no ideal absolute numbers of developers or applications. Ratios may be a better guide to development efficiency—the size of the developer team to that of operations staff or the number of developers per application, for example. In product development, a lower developer-to-application ratio, a lower defect rate, and continuous deployment, among other attributes, suggest higher levels of efficiency and productivity.

5. Application-to-Developer Ratio

The average number of applications per developer in your organization is 2.

Your Organization

Insurance

All Industries

One way of measuring efficiency in software development is having a low ratio of developers to applications.

6. Developers to Operations / QA Staff Ratio

On average, there are 6 developers to each operations / QA staff in your organization.

Insurance

All industries

Another metric of software development efficiency is having a high ratio of developers to operators.

7. Team Integration / Distribution of Skills

The skills on your software development team are mostly balanced. Most people on the team have good development skills and their contributions are usually comparable.

Insurance

All industries

Reliable, predictable developer productivity comes from having teams of developers whose skill sets are well balanced. Leading organizations build teams of full-stack developers with comparable skill sets rather than relying on a few “star” developers.

8. Developer Time Allocation

Approximately 40% of your developers' time is spent on writing code for new products or features (e.g. in contrast to maintenance or fixing old code).

Similarly, leaders can gauge software development productivity by the percentage of developers' time spent on writing code for new products or features to increase customer value in contrast to maintaining or fixing old code.

9. Change Failure Rate

Approximately 30% of your new software launches or upgrades are delayed or rolled back due to defects.

Leaders demonstrate a low percentage of new software launch or upgrade delays due to defects from low quality software.

10. Feature Development Time

If a six-person development team within your business were asked to integrate a new feature (e.g. credit card payment with biometric authentication) into a business-critical application, it would take approximately 15 days from project start to code running in production.

Your Organization

Insurance

All Industries

High-performing incumbents are able to move quickly and reliably respond to changes in direction in service of the business.

Operations and Automation

Operations and automation refers to the maintenance of software infrastructure and how applications are built and deployed. Speed—of development, deployment, refactoring, and moving applications into production—has helped leaders who aren't weighed down by legacy systems and older, ingrained approaches to development.

11. Frequency of Product Deploys

Your organization deploys new code to production hourly.

Insurance

All industries

The frequency of deployment is as much a function of process as it is of having a modern platform with which to deploy. Leaders employ a modern approach to software development and use a cloud platform to increase speed and frequency of deployment.

12. Scalability

If your organization had to double the number of users or workloads on all your existing applications, you would scale existing architecture with some structural changes.

Insurance

All industries

If your organization had to double the number of users or workloads on all your existing applications, you estimate the level of disruption to existing business services and applications would be high.

Insurance

All industries

IT needs to provide "at-scale" service on-demand and explore all options with minimal friction. Leaders strive to attract developers and ramp productivity linearly with personnel as well as rapidly scale their applications to handle demand.

13. Security

In the past year, the release of a new app, or updates to an existing app, have been halted or rolled back due to security concerns 11-20 times.

Insurance

All industries

Security is a paramount concern. Having a platform that is secure by default helps mitigate some of these concerns.

14. Deployment Automation

In the process of performance monitoring, your organization is mostly manual.

Insurance

All industries

In the process of change approval governance, your organization is half automated / half manual.

Insurance

All industries

In the process of software deployment, your organization is half automated / half manual.

Insurance

All industries

In the process of software testing, your organization is fully manual.

Insurance

All industries

In the process of software build, your organization is mostly manual.

Insurance

All industries

In the process of infrastructure provisioning, your organization is fully manual.

Insurance

All industries

Leaders release new changes to their customers in a quick, sustainable way by automating various aspects of deployment.

15. Cloud-Native Applications

10% of your organization's applications are either built or refactored to run in the cloud.

Cloud applications perform better, are more resilient, and easier to manage.

16. Lead Times

Within your business, it takes 5 days to move a new application through a release process from deployment to production.

Your Organization

Insurance

All Industries

Reducing the time it takes to move software through all stages of production into the hands of your customers helps build competitive advantage.

Summary

All sectors and countries show an opportunity for progress in every indicator of software development performance. What can organizations do to improve their scores?

Our research provides some useful pointers. It could involve:

  • Ensuring that customer feedback is continuous rather than periodic or sporadic and that software development teams are quickly able to respond to feedback.
  • Establishing a great deal of budget flexibility, allowing 30% or even 40% of the annual software budget to be allocated to pursue ad-hoc opportunities.
  • Considerably reducing the time needed to perform key activities such as integrating a new feature into a core customer-facing application, refactoring an application for migration to the cloud, and restoring service after an application outage.
  • Maximizing speed by automating activities such as application testing, deployment, and refactoring mission-critical applications.
  • Increasing the amount of developer time spent on, for example, writing new code for products or features to at least 60% of a normal week or month.
  • Reducing delays due to defect rates to less than 5% of new application launches or upgrades.

There are highly innovative, software-driven companies in every sector that could achieve this in the next few years, or even today. You can learn more about their successes in our Built to Adapt community.