It's not all gloomy news for IT folk. Software development managers are reporting an increase in development budgets, despite the recession.

That's according to a recent survey by software development outsourcer, Softsource. It surveyed more than 6,000 executives worldwide and found that 60 percent of respondents reported increases in software development budgets for 2009. Twenty-six percent indicated budgets had increased in excess of 10 percent 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 organizations 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 percent, 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 percent of respondents while 51 percent were focused on web development.
  • Eighty-seven percent of respondents reported comfort with their company's basic coding skills while 36 percent said they needed improved project management. Thirty-four percent cited a need for help in defining business requirements for development projects.
  • Some 38 percent 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 percent favoured agile development methodologies while just 18 percent preferred the waterfall method.
  • CMMI (Capability Maturity Model Integration) was cited as the process maturity and quality model of 36 percent of respondents.
  • For software customisation and integration, Microsoft Dynamics/SharePoint was the most-used platform, by 42 percent of those polled. Oracle and SAP followed with 38 percent and 29 percent, respectively.