Unique opportunity for developers to evolve

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a catalyst for innovation and digital transformation at speed from global leaders in business and government as they deal with unprecedented circumstances and “suddenly” remote working models.

These organisations have been forced to set up largely all-remote workforces, and at the same time, develop new ways of operating with stakeholders and customers. To accomplish this, the pandemic has shone a light on the need to change how developers operate in the region as this key role undergoes a rapid global evolution within the biggest companies, all levels of government, and industry bodies.

This transformation at speed will ultimately change mindsets around what is possible for even our biggest global companies when it comes to designing, developing and deploying software.  A poll conducted at a recent virtual roundtable of CxOs in Singapore confirmed this with over 90% of attendees reporting an increase in focus in digital transformation in the past three months.

From government and enterprise to family run small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), we are now all operating as technology companies, and to continue to drive business results through an economic recovery it is even more critical for teams to understand how the role of the developer is evolving. 

While there has been encouraging adoption of DevOps practices in Asia-Pacific, with Singapore leading the region in its maturity and appetite for disruption, there are significant opportunities for the region to accelerate their digital transformation and become even more globally competitive. As major companies continue to use multiple legacy tools to manage the complex process of developing a huge new range of apps and platforms for web and mobile, business leaders in the region must move beyond a siloed approach in this space if they want to keep pace with the global economy. 

GitLab’s fourth annual DevSecOps survey revealed a changing world for developer, operations and security teams and that holds true for roles and responsibilities as well as technology choices that improve DevOps practices and speed up software release cycles. When done right, DevOps can go a long way to improve a business’s bottom line, but there are still obstacles to overcome to achieve true DevSecOps.

The survey found that the lines are blurring between developers and operations teams as 35% of developers say they define and or create the infrastructure their app runs on and 14% actually monitor and respond to that infrastructure – a role traditionally held by operations. There also continues to be a clear disconnect between developers and security teams, with uncertainty about who should be responsible for security efforts. More than 25% of developers reported feeling solely responsible for security. In the new world, silos between these teams and responsibilities can’t be tolerated anymore with security increasingly built into the development process at an earlier stage. 

In the post-COVID-19 world, the role of the developer may change even more than what was reported in the survey and this change will continue to affect Asia-Pacific’s progress and innovation. As markets around the region begin to take steps towards recovery, many businesses will be looking at the “new normal” with the role of the developer a key function. They will need to be able to release products at speed, securely, and ensure business continuity including all-remote productivity as a key component for an agile organisation.  

Already we are seeing evidence of the impact of the current crisis around a changed mindset and focus on digital transformation in major enterprise, government and industry. Singapore now has a unique opportunity in leading the region to evolve and transform the way our developers contribute to the recovery.