Business Transformation

How DevEx Connects to Business Value Metrics: Three Findings from Forrester

From the original rudimentary mainframe punch cards to today’s dazzling mobile gaming apps, developers have always been essential to coding and customizing applications. Now leaders increasingly understand that elevating the developer experience (DevEx) is a competitive differentiator.

To evaluate the connection between DevEx and business value metrics and outcomes, VMware recently commissioned Forrester Consulting. Using an online survey, Forrester interviewed 651 respondents including IT/engineering leaders and line-of-business (LOB) leaders in predominantly large enterprises.

Key findings that emerged from the survey include:

  • Good developer experiences matter. Three in four respondents said DevEx is important or very important to business strategy execution. Accordingly, the same percentage of respondents believe their organizations’ ability to compete in their markets stems from delivering quality software faster. Sixty-nine percent of respondents say good DevEx results in a better end-user/customer experience.
  • Improving DevEx will bring positive business results. More than two-thirds of IT and LOB respondents believe that improving DevEx will positively impact business objectives such as customer attraction and retention, customer satisfaction metrics, revenue growth, and profitability.
  • Firms are optimistic about potential, but realistic about success. While firms expect gains from DevEx efforts, they take a measured view of their current progress. For example, only about half of respondents say their organizations have been somewhat or very successful at reaching key targets like profitability, developer productivity, revenue growth, and faster release cycles. The good news is that over 70% of respondents believe improving DevEx would have a moderate or significant positive impact on these areas.


Reaping the Returns of DevEx Investments

From training to compensation to self-service portals, there are numerous ways to invest in improving DevEx. For 60% of respondents, the most crucial DevEx consideration is reducing friction in team processes – for which deploying tools that automate handoffs or accelerate debugging can be instrumental.

Top Capabilities That Have a Positive Impact on DevEx

In reality, however, DevEx investments typically serve multiple business objectives. Leaders must understand that there’s no single action that will prevent or solve every possible DevEx concern.

Most importantly, businesses need to focus on the bigger picture by adopting a heightened awareness that investing in developers, including their tools and processes, drives more productive and successful business operations.

Indeed, the survey results indicate that improving DevEx can impact the quality of software, its velocity, and, ultimately, its profitability. In addition, an improved DevEx can lead to higher developer job satisfaction. With all of these benefits, it follows that focusing on DevEx is one of the best investments a company can make.

Read the report to see Forrester’s four important recommendations for a successful DevEx strategy. Download the report.

1-3 Elevating the Developer Experience, Forrester and VMware, June 2022.