New report ranks Australian software development on the world stage

| September 30, 2018

Pivotal Software, a cloud-native platform company, has announced its first Built to Adapt Benchmark report, based on research by Longitude Research and Ovum.

Companies in every sector and market around the world are changing their businesses due to software innovations—from German car manufacturing to US retail and Japanese telecoms. To keep pace with competition, the leading businesses are becoming software-driven companies themselves by accelerating developer productivity, porting applications to the cloud, automating infrastructure, and innovating with new software.

The report offers a quantitative framework of measurable indicators which gauge how well organisations across five industries and six countries build software that deliver on these goals and produce business value.

Countries surveyed included the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, Japan, and Singapore, while the sectors under scrutiny encompassed banking, insurance, automotive, retail, and telecommunications.  The Benchmark indicators were organised across five business outcomes that define a modern software company: Speed, Stability, Scalability, Security, and Savings.

The report’s criteria reveal the interrelationships of targets and outcomes.  For example, improving budget flexibility to initiate new projects can affect savings and speed, while the investment ratio between developing and maintaining software can determine an organisation’s ability to scale and reduce technical debt to unlock savings. More effective team integrations to create small balanced groups which can take an idea on a Monday and build working software by Friday can unlock improvements in speed, as well as savings and scalability.

Australian Insights and Data

Overall, Australian enterprises ranked fourth out of the six markets surveyed. The results of the commissioned research report reveal that Australian developer teams are more balanced than anywhere else, with 63% of respondents saying they have no ‘star’ developers, and rely on equal contributions from across the team.  By contrast, in the UK, just 41% firms said the same. The Australian banking sector is particularly balanced in this regard, with 36% of the banks surveyed reporting an equally skilled developer workforce in contrast with only 20% reporting the same around the world.

Australian firms are also among the fastest to deploy software updates following user feedback, taking an average of 7.1 days to deploy a simple change, compared with 7.6 in the UK and 7.8 in Singapore.

In terms of stability, firms around the world report that approximately 19% of software launches and upgrades are delayed due to defects. Australian firms are slightly ahead of US firms with 19% opposed to 22% delays reported.

Australian firms are also ahead of their neighbours in transitioning to the cloud. Around 38% of Australian applications are built or refactored to run in the cloud, second only to the US (45%).  However Australian firms lack confidence on scalability. 20% would feel confident scaling their existing architecture with minimal structural changes if they had to double the workloads on current applications but in the US, 55% of firms said they could do the same.

The security picture is also better for Australian firms.  23% of Australian firms report having experienced more than 11 security-driven service suspensions or delays over the past year. The US and Singapore had more firms experience as much disruption at 33% and 28%, respectively.

When looking at the productivity of software developers in their firms, Australian companies have more applications (3.7) assigned per developer than any other country, compared to the global average of 2.4.  However, despite high developer productivity, Australian firms require far more IT operators than their American counterparts.

Commenting on the report’s results, Edward Hieatt, SVP of Services and Customer Success at Pivotal, said “Pivotal believes that businesses across every industry need to innovate at the speed of startups to succeed in a world increasingly defined by software. As a result, fast organizations are best positioned to develop and deploy software that successfully responds to demanding and evolving consumer expectations,”

“With The Benchmark, the world’s largest enterprises now have a quantitative framework of measurable indicators that can be used gauge how well their organization builds software that delivers business value to their customers.”


The research consisted of 1,659 information technologists (IT) across chief information officers, chief security officers, chief technology officers, and executive IT leaders who work in the aforementioned industries.  The margin of error for all sectors is 5.4% at the 95% confidence level; except for Automobiles for which the margin of error is 6.2% due to the lack of automotive industry businesses in Australia and Singapore.