Analyst: In-house app development fraught with waste

A study claims that in-house software development is plagued by budget woes, protracted project lengths and dissatisfied end users.

A study by the boutique consultancy Voke finds corporate software development in a state of dysfunction marked by budget woes, protracted project lengths and dissatisfied end users.

But at the same time, enterprises are placing higher value on business analysts, who serve as an intermediary between line-of-business employees and development teams, gathering project requirements and acting as "the keeper of a consistent and agreed-upon vision of the applications being developed," the report states.

Voke surveyed more than 125 people in business analyst roles, with about half working for companies with 5,000 or more employees.

Fifty percent of respondents said a typical project cost between US$1 million and $5 million, and 7 percent pegged it at more than $20 million.

As for labor, some 63 percent said it took less than 200 "person-months" to finish a project, while 38 percent said it took at least 2,000.

Meanwhile, more than one-third of projects are abandoned after being implemented, and only 37 percent of finished projects met users' needs.

"Everything we have been conditioned to believe indicates that project time is shrinking. And while I believe this is true in highly optimized and mature organizations, I do think in-house development is fraught with problems, delays, and indecision," Voke analyst Theresa Lanowitz said in an e-mail.

That could change as companies begin placing more emphasis on the role of business analysts. About one-third of respondents said their company planned to hire more.

But the study also found that 45 percent of existing business analysts had previously worked in development and testing, with only 15 percent coming from the line of business. As they add more analysts, companies should try to be more diverse in their choices, Lanowitz said.

Companies are also investigating the use of dedicated requirements gathering tools, the study found.

Right now, they are predominantly using Microsoft Word, "which results in large documents that are not easily reviewed, shared or amended," and therefore contribute to failed projects, according to the study.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Chris Kanaracus

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?