It's not all gloomy news. Software development managers are reporting an increase in development budgets, as the credit crisis eases.

That's according to a recent survey by software development outsourcer, Softsource. It surveyed more than 6,000 executives worldwide and found that 60 per cent of respondents reported increases in software development budgets for 2009. Twenty-six per cent indicated budgets had increased in excess of 10 per cent over 2008 expenditures.

"Even amidst reports of global economic uncertainty and confusion, many companies are choosing to steel themselves for recovery by investing more, not less, in business-critical software development initiatives," said Taras Kytsmey, president of SoftServe.  "Though overall findings of this survey point to project management and design of such initiatives as ongoing challenges, the most important thing is that these organisations recognise the need for improvement in the people, processes, tools and communication employed in these efforts.  This data gives companies a starting point for streamlining development efforts onward into 2010 and ensuring that development initiatives translate into greater return on software investments."

In other findings in the survey:

  • Nearly three-quarters of respondents, 71 per cent, listed new product or software development as a top priority in their organisations. Cost-cutting also rated high as did improving end user usability.
  • Enterprise applications were the focus of 62 per cent of respondents while 51 per cent were focused on web development.
  • Eighty-seven per cent of respondents reported comfort with their company's basic coding skills while 36 per cent said they needed improved project management. Thirty-four per cent cited a need for help in defining business requirements for development projects.
  • Some 38 per cent of organisations revealed the use of some type of software development outsourcing, with two-thirds of those outsourcing doing so in India, with the Ukraine, China and other Eastern European countries also showing up as top development locations to watch.
  • Forty-two per cent favoured agile development methodologies while just 18 per cent preferred the waterfall method.
  • CMMI (Capability Maturity Model Integration) was cited as the process maturity and quality model of 36 per cent of respondents.
  • For software customisation and integration, Microsoft Dynamics/SharePoint was the most-used platform, by 42 per cent of those polled. Oracle and SAP followed with 38 per cent and 29 per cent, respectively.