Increased software complexity from multicore, Web 2.0 and SOA are increasing code problems and driving up costs for companies that develop both in house and through third parties like offshore firms according to a new survey from IDC.
The survey of nearly 150 US companies ranging in size from 250-10,000 employees taken in the second quarter Q2 of 2008, found that the increased complexity of software development environments and the cost of fixing defects in the field (rather than early in the software life cycle) are combining in “exorbitant ways”. IDC warns that such costs will drain income and to hamstring businesses as a result of critical software downtime.
IDC plainly stated that current, typical quality approaches were woefully inadequate to address code defect costs and issues. The analyst estimated the cost of fixing software defects at $5.2 million to $22 million annually, depending on organisation size.
Nearly 70% of firms surveyed said that their code base was more complex than in last two years and 72% conceded that debugging was problematic. A quarter found that they found serious problems in post code review either very often or all the time. Another 41% said they had experienced these issues to some extent. Yet respondents calculated that if 100% of defects were addressed and remediated prior to production, they would experience 32% cost savings.
IDC said that companies must become better educated about the business consequences and labour costs of poor quality and defects since inappropriate degrees of optimism mask the need for change. It advised firms to evaluate automated tools to supplement manual review along with appropriate process and organisational approaches.