In the survey, which questioned 125 senior IT and business executives in global companies with revenues of more than $500m, 52% of respondents said some parts of their businesses are not following software quality procedures consistently.
A quarter of IT directors said they had not implemented software quality at all. Among those that had, only 5% admitted that most of the organisations they worked for were failing to follow the procedures consistently.
One IT director who moved back to head her IT department after spending two years in another part of the business said, "All the rigour and quality processes I had established before had been ripped out. Now I have to start all over again."
Software quality is a high priority for IT directors. Some 82% of respondents in the survey associated an IT failure with an actual business loss. In fact, 35 out of the 125 surveyed said they had directly experienced material revenue loss because of application failure.
The Forrester Research study was commissioned by tools firm Compuware, which introduced a service to tackle software quality at the GigaWorld conference in Paris.
Through the Compuware Application Reliability Solution (Cars) the company plans to offer technology, processes and teams of certified software testers to trouble-shoot application quality issues in applications at end user sites.
Vange Yianni, technologoy manager at Compuware, said part of the problem IT directors faced was the time and budget contraints of software projects.
"Testing is the last stage of a project,” he said. “When time runs out, testing stops."