Almost three-quarters (71 percent) of UK software development heads say conventional approaches to software development and testing means new customer-facing applications are delayed.

CA Technologies questioned 301 in-house software development managers in enterprises across the UK, France and Germany. More than half (56 percent) of UK developers reported that their IT department's reputation had been tarnished because of issues relating to "out-dated" application development and testing methods.

While 59 percent of UK respondents cited quality and time-to-market on integration testing as a major challenge, it was lower (48 percent) across all three countries. In the UK, 41 percent had issues with performance testing compared to 32 percent overall.

Asked why UK developers were seemingly struggling more than their counterparts in France and Germany, CA said: "UK enterprises have set the bar high. One possibility could include the overall intensity of competition between retail banks, mobile phone operators and insurance companies in the UK.

"Customers in these sectors have become used to a high number of new offers and products available on a frequent basis. This in turn places huge demands to meet and exceed these user expectations."

A prominent factor in the UK element of the research was the sheer number of releases expected to be delivered, with 41 percent of UK respondents stating they had to bring out ten or more releases a year. This compares to just 26 percent of respondents in France, the next nearest country.

Outdated application development and testing is having a major impact on UK enterprises, with 76 percent of respondents sighting loss of reputation in the market as a major concern. Furthermore, 67 percent were worried about reduced application functionality negatively impacting customer experience.

Almost half of all UK respondents (48 percent) are already looking to move towards cloud-based development environments and 46 percent to agile development methods.

"Today's software developers are frustrated by the limitations of conventional software development and testing methods," said Justin Vaughan-Brown, strategic relationships director for EMEA service virtualisation at CA Technologies.

CA said traditional software development was putting increased pressure on IT departments to deliver more complex applications, and is encouraging firms to adopt service virtualisation.

Service virtualisation enables teams to develop and test an application using a virtual service environment that has been configured to imitate a real production environment, while providing the ability to change the variables easily in order to test different scenarios.

BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT, recently launched an agile software testing certificate. Agile testing sees software testers work closely with software developers in making sure new software is continuously tested and analysed in stages, to make sure it is meeting the business and strategic goals of the customer.