APAC organisations to address greater ROI and compliance scrutiny from software development in 2022

By Anthony McMahon, Vice President, APJ, GitLab

Companies and public organisations in APAC have made tremendous progress over the course of the pandemic in becoming more distributed and agile, adopting platforms to automate and accelerate software development lifecycles and increase their overall ability to innovate. 

Forrester predicts that in 2022, technology leaders will shift from short-term problem solving to long-term innovation, which will involve seeking new ways to demonstrate business value in crowded markets.

However, many CIOs are flying blind on the ROI from their total investment in software development, IT operations, and application security. In fact, whilst many CIOs today can tell you what their total technology spend is across people, software licensing, and infrastructure, they struggle to put this in ROI terms related to business impact and time-to-value. 

Measurement is key to greater efficiency

In DevSecOps and Agile processes, measurement of the processes allows leaders to identify opportunities for greater efficiency and begin to correlate those opportunities with business value, connecting the entire organisation with a common goal and vision. The better the ability of the organisation to measure, the more they can start to focus on ROI.  

Metrics such as DevOps Research and Assessment (DORA) will become critical to leaders, as they seek to rationalise their investment and measure the success of their DevOps programs. The metrics provided within DORA are lead time, deployment frequency, change failure rate and time to restore service. They form an excellent foundation for any organisation’s metrics initiatives, helping to improve existing DevSecOps efficiency and alignment with business stakeholders.

Organisations starting out on their Agile journey or are looking to connect existing Agile processes with other groups and lines of business can benefit from DORA to implement effective measurement principles for DevSecOps, providing a critical compass towards improved ROI and business maturity.

Although the DORA metrics are a great measurement framework, trying to aggregate and make sense of these metrics is made significantly harder with a complex DevSecOps toolchain. As data isn’t housed in a single datastore, the CIO management team’s time is wasted trying to capture data across the multitude of tools that developers are working with; i.e. the tool-chain tax or DevOps tax.

The consequences are either that useful ROI metrics are never captured, or precious time and resources are wasted on manually capturing the DORA 4-key metrics, which could be spent on more productive activity. 

Shift to VSDPs imminent to deliver greater value

In contrast, a fully integrated DevSecOps platform enables all metrics to be captured automatically in a single data store, helping organisations to understand the velocity, speed, overall quality, and stability of software development projects. This provides end-to-end visibility that is easily digestible for all teams (including CISOs), aggregated by group or at the instance levels, charted through high-level trends, and is directly actionable, so improvements can be made in real-time.

Underpinned by the growing need for organisations to streamline their delivery workflows and rapid delivery of customer value, Gartner has recently recognised Value Stream Delivery Platforms (VSDP) as an emerging category in the software marketplace and predicts that by 2024, 60% of organisations will have switched from multiple point solutions to value stream delivery platforms to streamline application delivery, and increase collaboration and transparency between Dev, Sec and Ops teams.

In 2022, more APAC software-led organisations will face greater pressure to deliver value and realise success can only be recognised when there is a benchmark to measure against. We expect greater implementation of effective measurement principles for software delivery, leveraging VSDPs towards improved ROI and time-to-value.

By reducing complexity in capturing key metrics, organisations will have the power to track, understand and improve their processes, ensuring they can continue to enhance productivity, deliver better products, and importantly, demonstrate a clear ROI.