Are you mastering the Modern Software Factory?

Research from CA Technologies shows that a new approach to creating software is needed to stay competitive in the digital era.

It used to be that the best companies were built to last. But today, the most competitive firms are built to change. They’re built on software that allows them to thrive in a climate of constant disruption, short innovation cycles, and ever-changing customer expectations.

Modern companies don’t just use software; they’re powered by a ‘Modern Software Factory’ – a whole new way of designing and operationalizing software development to drive competitive advantage.

Master your software factory to out-compete and out-perform

The digital economy demands that businesses understand customer needs, incubate new ideas, nurture innovation, and get the right products and services to market – all at unprecedented speed. It’s no surprise then that found that software development will grow in importance by a factor of 1.6 over the next four years. This research is outlined in Don’t Let an Outdated Software Strategy Hold you Back and produced in partnership with Freeform Dynamics.

The research also reveals important insights about those businesses that are not just building, but mastering the Modern Software Factory. Not only do ‘masters” demonstrate 70% higher profit growth and 50% higher revenue growth, but they also lead on a host of key business indicators:

Exploiting the digital world

  • 53 percent of Master-level organizations say their leaders are exploiting new software-driven strategies versus 18 percent of mainstream companies.
  • 50 percent of Masters say their executives provide the leadership needed to survive in the application economy versus 18% of mainstream companies.

Understanding customer needs and better aligning IT with the business:

  • 61 percent of the Masters reported that they understand what customers need and strive to deliver the best customer experience, versus 22 percent of mainstream company respondents.
  • 52 percent of Masters are very effective at prioritizing software development in line with business goals, versus 15 percent of mainstream companies.

Balancing risk with responsible security practices

  • Over 43 percent of the Masters’ company culture support risk-taking, versus 17 percent of the mainstream.
  • 49% of Masters have senior management who understands the importance of not compromising software quality or security for time-to-market, versus 15% of the mainstream.

Developing, delivering, managing and securing better quality software:

  • 53 percent of the Masters are very effective at delivering applications with improved quality and consistency versus 24 percent of mainstream companies.
  • 52 percent of the Masters reported that their development processes are well documented and well-understood, versus 18 percent of mainstreamers.

The key principles of the Modern Software Factory

Creating a Modern Software Factory is no easy feat as it involves far more than just technology and processes. It demands a highly agile and collaborative working environment – which in turn requires the right people, culture, and structure. The report sets out the key principles that underpin the Modern Software Factory:

  1. Agility

Delivering compelling experiences for customers means being able to respond rapidly to their needs. Methodologies such as agile, DevOps, and continuous delivery are essential to this capability.

  1. Automation

The software development lifecycle must be fully automated. This calls for consistent and standardized ways of working, capturing feedback from users and other stakeholders, and communicating it to your developers.

  1. Insights

Developers need processes to monitor, sense, and respond effectively. And they need the analytical tools to enable them to receive feedback, improve software, and track the impact of the changes they make.

  1. Security

As cyber-risks intensify, and development becomes more automated, security must be integral to software creation – not just a feature that’s bolted on at the end of the development process.

The case for the Modern Software Factory

The Modern Software Factory puts software at the heart of an organization. And our study found that it helps drive superior business performance.

The research shows that the most adept companies at the Modern Software Factory are 3.5 times more likely to prioritize software development in line with the business’s goals. As a result, they create higher quality and more secure software, and are more likely to attract talented developers.

However, only a quarter of the organizations we studied have mastered the principles of the Modern Software Factory.

Putting the principles in place

So how do you implement this new approach to software development?

Our research identifies a number of success factors common to firms that have successfully put the principles of the Modern Software Factory in place.

These include:

  • A relentless customer focus: a deep understanding of customers, and a company-wide commitment to delivering the best possible experiences for them
  • A flexible approach to development: a willingness to take risks when creating software solutions by experimenting and iterating throughout the development process
  • A lack of silos and barriers: a recognition that in an agile working environment, boundaries and finishing points aren’t always set in stone
  • Clarity and certainty: clear directions, clear processes to support people in their work, and realistic timescales to complete projects
  • The right culture: a climate of openness and collaboration, and a willingness to learn


This study makes a clear business case for overhauling your approach to software development.

Get the report: download Don’t Let an Outdated Software Strategy Hold You Back.



Otto Berkes
Otto Berkes is the Chief Technology Officer at CA Technologies. He is responsible for technical…


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