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UK wastes £10.4 billion due to overburdened developers: Harness

UK enterprises risk falling behind in their digital transformation drive and not making the best use of the talents of their most skilled staff by failing to optimise the developer experience, according to Harness, the software delivery platform company. 

“In fact, developers only spend around 52 minutes per day coding due to high levels of manual toil and other distractions in their roles. This can hamper organisations’ ability to innovate, frustrating developers, and comes in at a high price,” says Harness. 

Harness calculates that UK businesses are inadvertently wasting over £10.4 billion each year as developers manually carry out routine operations tasks that could be automated. These tasks include unnecessary scripting, manual deployments, inefficient testing processes, and responding to various security issues across the software development life cycle (SDLC).

“We are facing a developer experience crisis,” warns Nick Durkin, Field CTO at Harness. 

“Repetitive tasks, such as the maintenance of unnecessary scripts, repetitive manual testing and waiting times for builds to complete, are keeping organisations’ best developers from the critical work of coding. This toil is driving huge inefficiencies across the SDLC, minimising the impact of developer talent and stalling critical digital transformation projects. It could even lead to burnout, or push an organisation’s most skilled resources to seek more engaging roles with another employer.”

“Organisations must act now to improve the developer experience, empowering them to do what they do best; turn ideas from concept to reality.”

Organisations are increasingly investing in automation to improve continuous integration (CI) and continuous delivery (CD) processes to drive efficiency and innovate at pace. 

However, developers must be able to automate at scale and innovate at speed without creating security holes or causing constant rollback. Organisations must bring software innovation back to a point where developers can deliver faster without losing control. It will enable them to keep ahead of competitors and respond more readily to the needs of their customers, while avoiding the added risk that comes with increased speed.

By investing in AI and machine learning (ML) within CI/CD pipelines, organisations can reduce the burden of routine and repetitive software delivery tasks, freeing engineers' time for more skilled work. 

For example, by automating complex deployments, including canary and blue-green, and utilising ML for deployment verification to monitor for vulnerabilities or abnormalities in an application's behaviour, organisations can reduce the strain on developers, enabling them to release new features quickly and effectively, and securely. This efficiency gain is significant as IT spending projections from Gartner and the AICPA have been slashed for 2023.

“IT budgets are increasingly under scrutiny, but organisations still need to bring reliable and secure innovation to their customers. Firms must therefore find new efficiencies and address the current imbalance, by optimising developer workflows to achieve speed within approved guardrails,” continues Durkin. 

“By focusing their efforts on improving the developer experience with increased automation, organisations can unlock the full potential of their most skilled innovators, by enabling them to build and deploy software quickly with governance, reliability, and security already incorporated.”

“Empowering developers to harness modern techniques such as chaos engineering, feature flagging, and shift-left security testing will bring further advantages to innovation, by bridging the gap between development, operations, and security teams. Ultimately, these improvements will help organisations to drive greater developer satisfaction and avoid burnout, ensuring digital transformation stays on track, and they can get ahead of the competition.”

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