Magazine article American Banker

Wanted: More Productive Programmers; in a Survey, Operations Executives Say That Is Their Top Priority

Magazine article American Banker

Wanted: More Productive Programmers; in a Survey, Operations Executives Say That Is Their Top Priority

Article excerpt

Wanted: More Productive Programmers

Wringing more work out of computer programmers has become the top priority for corporations, according to a new survey of operations executives.

Just last year, the productivity of systems developers only ranked fifth on a list of priorities of technology executives in a variety of industries, including banking, according to CSC Index, a Cambridge, Mass.-based management consulting company.

Raising the productivity of programmers is the prime goal for 1991, according to 142 systems executives surveyed earlier this year by the firm, which is a unit of Computer Sciences Corp., El Segundo, Calif.

The two other top priorities, according to the survey: identifying and developing systems that support the corporation's strategy; and the rapid development of systems. Senior management, CSC Index concluded, is focusing on getting the most from their technology investments.

Two-Year Backlog

Most organizations report a backlog of at least two years on projects to build new computer systems. Most programmers work on maintaining current software, rather than developing new systems.

Since the average age of software programs is seven years old, corporations face the task of replacing them in the next several years.

Without a new approach to developing software, corporations cannot get a leg up over rivals by bringing products and services to the market faster. But these systems executives, charged with automating their corporations, must first begin by automating their own departments.

"Business executives seeking competitive advantage should look not only at restructuring business processes but also at overhauling the function that plays a key role in changing those processes - the systems development organization," said Nicholas P. Vitalari, vice president at CSC Index. …

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