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IT Priorities 2023: Software development

Organisations are investing in technology-led business initiatives to tackle the economic slowdown

The TechTarget/Computer Weekly IT Priorities 2023 survey found that 41% of IT decision-makers expect to increase their IT spending this year. While there is a lot of economic uncertainty, technology is not an area where companies are looking to reduce budgets.

The survey of 156 technology decision-makers from the UK and Ireland reported that 50% of respondents have a cloud-first IT strategy. Cloud computing is also the second biggest area affecting IT spending, according to the research.

Beyond moving workloads to the public cloud, many IT leaders are aiming to adopt cloud best practices to improve the efficiency of IT operations and the speed with which new digitally enabled business functionality can be developed. In fact, DevOps tops the list of application development plans for 2023. This is followed by business process automation and application programming interface (API) management.

The survey shows that of those involved in application integration initiatives, 82% are planning investments in this area. Organisations are focused on increasing efficiency via automation, and APIs continue to be top of mind as organisations strive to create a modern infrastructure to support their applications.

The areas that have seen an increase since 2022 include continuous/automated testing, agile project management software, continuous integration and continuous deployment (CI/CD), and DevSecOps and serverless architectures.

The survey found that many IT leaders are using low-code/no-code tooling to enable the developer and citizen developer to create new functionality to support business requirements faster.

According to analyst Gartner, by 2024, 80% of technology products and services will be built by people who are not full-time technical professionals. During the Gartner Symposium in November 2022, CIOs were urged to reassess how and where they allocate resources to support digital business initiatives.

In a presentation called “The new economics of technology”, Gartner distinguished analyst Daryl Plummer asked delegates to consider what the notion of writing code meant to them, asking, “Is it about writing code or is it something else?”. Low-code and no-code tooling lower the skills requirements needed to develop software.

The concept of “bring-your-own” application and data analytics can be applied in organisations that find IT teams cannot keep up with the level of software development work required by the business. Here, employees take on responsibility for creating applications and the analytics needed to do their work. Professional developers are then free to develop the IT integration and governance required to support this environment.

For instance, Rolls-Royce is using Power Apps from Microsoft to enable people outside its IT team to deliver applications, as Stuart Hughes, CIO at Rolls Royce, explained: “As a team in IT, we realised that there will always be more work than the IT department can do.”

The IT team set itself a challenge to enable 1,000 people in the business to save £10,000 each without requiring professional IT people. “I think of this as a true digital transformation,” he said.

Working with Microsoft, Rolls-Royce has used Power Apps to enable people in the business to build digital tools and apps for themselves.

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