Digital innovation is one of the critical drivers of success in enterprises. Enterprises achieve digital innovation by continually improving IT infrastructure, often through software changes. However, making a mistake while implementing software changes can lead to security breaches and data leaks, especially if the root of the problem cannot be traced quickly. Without taking the necessary precautions before making a software change, a company's financial health and operations are at risk.
The 4 Common Mistakes Enterprises Make When Making Software Changes
1. Isolating Applications
Many applications in enterprise systems rely heavily on APIs and inter-dependencies to get the job done. For instance, an accounting tool won’t work as well if it doesn’t connect directly with the organization’s database and payment system. A common mistake when making software changes is to isolate applications instead of looking at the entire infrastructure. Since every resource is linked, one change may affect the functions of other applications negatively if developers do not analyze its impact on application dependencies in the environment.
To overcome this mistake, organizations need to assess the effects a software change will have on its IT infrastructure. Businesses must analyze the dependencies between applications and identify the issues that may arise if the change is implemented. Using a software dependency mapping tool helps teams automatically map and visualize all dependencies and their relationships in the software environment, so you have constant control over your database when making software changes.
2. Not Planning Ahead
Like all business decisions, software changes should be planned. Rushed projects are never ideal in software development because not only, is there a noticeable drop in quality, but also businesses would have to spend a significant amount of money for overtime pay and rush fees to make up for the short delivery time.
Every software change must be planned and taken through multiple rounds of estimation before it’s even considered for deployment. Using a top-down approach is an excellent technique to understand what can happen if the change is made, as well as establishing realistic projections for the project. A CDM tool comes in handy as it allows enterprises to see the effects of a software change on its applications before it is implemented, making planning significantly more straightforward.
3. Confusing Risks and Impacts
Organizations should not confuse risks and impacts. Software risk is a vulnerability in an application or IT asset that can lead to security breaches. Impacts are the effects on the infrastructure if the risk-triggering event happens. For example, a production database vulnerable to SQL injection is a risk, while attackers stealing sensitive information from the database is the impact.
Differentiating between the two is crucial as businesses may use the wrong method to assess software changes which leads to incorrect conclusions. For instance, instead of doing a business impact analysis, an organization may incorrectly perform a risk assessment to identify the impact of a new payroll system going offline. Not only is risk assessment the wrong technique to measure the impact, but also it gives the organization a false sense of security as the findings do not reflect the actual impact of such an event.
4. Failing to Factor in the Capabilities of Team Members
One of the cardinal sins in software development is the failure to match the right people to the right tasks. Organizations lose up to 50% of work productivity when developers don’t have sufficient technical skills and experience in software development. Constant bugs, poor code quality, and unoptimized performance are some of the problems enterprises face in poorly fit development teams.
The effect on productivity in inexperienced development teams (image source)
Solving it requires an understanding of what your development team is capable of and building an environment for them to thrive in. This starts with hiring the right people, adopting the ideal software development methodology (e.g., Agile), and setting goals that are reasonable for both employees and your organization.
CodeLogic Helps Organizations Avoid Risky Software Changes
Avoiding mistakes in software changes comes from proper planning and accurately assessing the effects of a change before it is implemented, which can be easily accomplished with a comprehensive CDM tool like CodeLogic.
With CodeLogic, enterprises have an intuitive, complete view of their application architecture as well as the ability to observe every dependency between applications and database assets in detail. This feature allows enterprises to visualize how a proposed change will affect other applications and resources in the ecosystem. We can help your business ease digital innovation, while avoiding risky software changes.