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Attracting Talent Remains a Challenge With Significant UK Skills Crisis in Security, Internet of Things and DevOps 

Mastering modern software development using a ‘Modern Software Factory’ is at the heart of success for European organisations, according to the results of a global survey of more than 1,200 IT leaders, including 466 in Europe, released today by CA Technologies (NASDAQ: CA) and conducted by Freeform Dynamics.

The new research shows significant gaps between the ‘Masters of the Modern Software Factory’ – in Europe the top 21 percent who embrace the key principles of agility, automation, insights and security –  and everyone else across a range of measures. These measures range from revenue and profit, to executive leadership and risk-taking, to the adoption of modern software tools and approaches.

Across Europe, the ‘Masters’ are embracing and exploiting the digital world across key aspects of their organisations and out-performing others on key business indicators. When compared to the Mainstream, the Masters delivered:

  • 70 percent higher rate of profit growth
  • 50 percent higher rate of revenue growth

Skills Gap Impacts All Organisations But Opportunity Exists To Influence Next Generation of Talent

Attracting the right talent directly contributes to business success. At a pan-European level, the study reveals that whilst Masters of the Modern Software Factory find it twice as easy to recruit experienced software development professionals compared to Mainstream organisations, and 1.6 times easier to attract young software development graduates, the challenge impacts all organisations.

In the UK, the survey reveals, for example, that 66 percent of organisations across the board are struggling to attract professionals experienced in the necessary software development practices and technologies, while 63 percent find it difficult to hire young graduates in software development.

Certain key skills are in very short supply. Some 71 percent of UK organisations find it difficult to recruit candidates with experience in security for mobile or web-based apps, for example, 70 percent are struggling to attract professionals with DevOps skills and 61 percent reveal they have problems recruiting candidates familiar with Agile methods.

A greater focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) training initiatives would help contribute to creating the next generation of talent.

Moreover, training and tools for existing IT staff are also lacking: only 22 percent of UK organisations strongly agree that their software development teams are expert in the latest tools and development trends, and only 29 percent strongly agree that provide regular training for continuous skill development.

“The study provides clear evidence that if you don’t have a modern approach to software along with the factory needed to deliver on your vision, you will be left behind in a world where the masters are the winners,” says Otto Berkes, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, CA Technologies. “The findings also reveal the extent of the skills gap in the UK. Unless organisations take action to nurture and expand modern software development skills, they risk being left as Mainstreamers– not Masters – of the Modern Software Factory.”

 Across Europe, Mastering the Modern Software Factory also Offers a Significant Lead in: 

Exploiting the Digital World

  • 58 percent of Master-level organisations in Europe say their leaders are exploiting new software-driven strategies versus 19 percent of Mainstream companies
  • 45 percent of Masters say their executives provide the leadership needed to survive in the application economy versus 20 percent of Mainstream companies

Understanding Customer Needs and Better Aligning IT with the Business

  • 57 percent of the Masters reported that they understand what customers need and strive to deliver the best customer experience, versus 24 percent of Mainstream company respondents
  • 42 percent of Masters are very effective at prioritising software development in line with business goals, versus 16 percent of Mainstream companies

Balancing Risk With Responsible Security Practices

  • Over 45 percent of the Masters’ company culture support risk-taking, versus 19 percent of the mainstream
  • 46 percent of Masters have senior management who understand the importance of not compromising software quality or security for time-to-market, versus 17 percent of the Mainstream

Developing, Delivering, Managing and Securing Better Quality Software

  • 44 percent of the Masters are very effective at delivering applications with improved quality and consistency versus 26 percent of Mainstream companies
  • 53 percent of the Masters reported that their development processes are well documented and well-understood, versus 19 percent of Mainstreamers

Software Development is Crucial to UK Organisations, But IT is Not Supporting the Business

  • In the UK, between 2015-2019, software development will become 1.6 times more essential for business success
  • Just 17 percent of UK organisations believe IT to be very effective at prioritising software development in line with business goals
  • Only 21 percent consider IT to be very effective at creating a consistent and predictable way of developing apps

The Bottom Line

“There’s a clear indication that those organisations that adopt modern software development practices such as agile, automation, machine learning and analytics to generate insights, and integrating security into the development process, do a better job of driving growth. In reality, the future of your business is in the hands of your developers,” Berkes adds. 

Survey Methodology

The global online survey of 1,279 senior IT and business executives was sponsored by CA Technologies and conducted by industry analyst firm Freeform Dynamics in July 2017. It includes 466 respondents from six European countries (France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and the UK) across eight industry sectors. It was augmented by in-depth telephone interviews with key industry executives. For full survey methodology details, see the report “Modernising Software Delivery for Digital Transformation.”

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