Software development mistakes lead to $751 million excess spending

Software development frameworks have had to change to accommodate new paradigms and new technology. The agile philosophy places high value on comprehensive feedback throughout the development cycle. A recent report, however, shows that organizations are struggling to improve quality without excessive increases in spending.

The United Kingdom's National Audit Office recently analyzed IT expenses at the Ministry of Defence and found close to $751 million in overspending. Much of the excessive financial burden stemmed from mistakes in software development, Computer Weekly columnist Kathleen Hall reported. One of the issues the agency faced was that problems occurring in one phase of a program's life cycle could create issues in other activities. For example, a 15-month delay in the development phase of the Typhoon Future Capability program necessitated rescheduling and subsequent delays for software testing. This not only pushed the project past its intended deadline, but added approximately $35 million to the cost.

NAO highlighted the importance of striking a better balance between software quality and development efficiency. However, there are few areas in which most organizations can cut corners. After all, missing features and glitches are likely going to be the first thing that end users notice, and they probably won't be nearly as impressed that IT managed to save money by trimming down the development phase.

single image

Is sacrifice necessary?

Most business leaders understand that some level of balancing is necessary to be successful, but this doesn't mean sacrificing quality or affordability should be the go-to choice for IT decisions. Businesses can benefit from evaluating existing processes and finding where inefficiencies exist. Identifying manual processes in data collection and integration is a good area to start adding efficiency, so that mission-critical tasks can be completed on time and within budgetary constraints. This is also an area where utilizing third-party services can add significant value. By leveraging a partner with proven expertise to facilitate integration, for example, less time is taken away from development projects.

In addition, not every company has the resources to build its own integration or design a new platform that meets its needs. This is where software services providers such as Estuate can help businesses overcome common IT project implementation challenges.

Making the right technological choices can allow IT staff greater control over their time and resources. Estuate's work with SaaS provider Ultratick showcases the efficiency that can be gained by enlisting the aid of a partner to supplement in-house projects. Ultratick had an offering that required subscriptions from its users but lacked the necessary eCommerce features to record transactions and track its subscribers. This meant the company relied on manual data collection processes to bring important information together, which was both time consuming and could potentially damage data integrity.

Ultratick hired Estuate to design an eCommerce site with a few requirements in mind. The company wanted to streamline transactions and needed security and auditing support. To build the new website, Estuate used a variety of tools, including Drupal 7, MySQL and SOAP. The end result was a secure eCommerce platform that automates all transaction processes. By building in PayPal integration, Ultratick's customers can use a trusted third-party payment provider, and the system automatically collects transaction histories to make auditing as simple as possible.

Estuate's work with Ultratick shows how third-party services can be strategically applied to internal projects. By facilitating automation, Estuate increased the overall efficiency of Ultratick's own workers without taking valuable time away from internal development teams.

This article is brought to you by Estuate, leaders in IT services.