To all CxOs: Take care of your Software Developers to take care of your Digital Transformation.

I do read a lot of articles (mainly hymns I must say) on Digital Transformation and Strategy. And it seems that everyone (including yours truly) agrees that of course the introduction of digital technologies transforms business processes and activities in a way that has a huge impact not only at business but at social level as well.

However, what I don’t read or find, is how to empower those who are fundamentaly responsible for implementing such transformation: the software developers. Independently if you have your own IT as a company or you hire external people, someone has to program that system or that killer app or this state-of-the-art web-platform which will enable your transformation and bring you more revenue and clients.

What does empowerment mean?

Should we

  • Increase the salaries of our developers
  • Give them more days-off
  • Resource IT to hire more people

These are nice initiatives of course, but with empowerment I mean something different:

Enable your developers to improve and grow.

For instance, train them for improving their coding skills, or give them time and budget to automate their testing processes and finally configure this server that will allow them to easily deploy new functionality and make it available for your business. At the end of the day, any technical improvements will have a positive impact on your business in the middle to short term.

And if you want a couple of numbers to convince you further then I have some for you. Via extensive research over multiple years at SIG we have documented that a team of software developers who know how to write great quality code can be 66% more productive in either shipping new functionality or fixing a bug, in comparison to a team who has sub-optimal coding skills.

A No-brainer? Sadly, no.

Prior to working with us, less than 50% of our clients’ development teams were given the time or budget to automate their processes for developing and testing new code as well as for shipping new functionality. This means that the teams need to perform these tasks manually, leading to issues when a new version of a system or app is available to their users, typically leading to complaints and negative press.

Recommendation: Give space to your developers for their improvement and rest assured that they will return the favor.