UK firms turn to ADM providers to navigate COVID-19, Brexit

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Next-generation application development and maintenance (ADM) service providers helped UK businesses navigate the disruptive COVID-19 pandemic and Brexit in 2020, research firm ISG has found.

Enterprises facing rapidly changing requirements and uncertainty have embraced evolving services for application development, testing and security, according to the 2020 ISG Provider Lens Application Development & Maintenance (ADM) Services report for the UK.

The report evaluates the capabilities of 36 providers across six quadrants: Next-Gen ADM, Application Management Services – Midmarket/Niche, Agile Development, Continuous Testing – Large Accounts, Continuous Testing - Midmarket, as well as Expert Consulting and DevSecOps Consulting.

Ultimately, it found that drawn-out Brexit negotiations left businesses uncertain about procedures they would need to take over the past year, while the widespread shift to home working created a need for new remote working tools, higher software quality and stronger security.

With these huge changes occurring amid budget cuts, the uncertainty has resulted in heightened demand for ADM services, ISG said.

In particular, providers are adopting new approaches to create localised and industry-specific application services required by the UK midmarket, ISG said. However, Brexit has created another form of uncertainty, with the possibility of the large Indian service providers shifting their focus from a post-Brexit UK to Europe.

As these disruptive events play out, fast and reliable software has become more vital, while companies moving to hybrid cloud environments have created a growing need for continuous testing, the report found.

AI and machine learning now commonly play a role in this process, recognising patterns and correlations, as well as making predictions. Testing is also shifting left, ISG says, moving to earlier stages of development to catch problems earlier.

When it comes to DevOps implementations, which have seen an uptick in adoption to increase enterprise agility, security is now taking on an even more crucial role, with most service providers embracing a DevSecOps approach, the report says.

“Enterprises in the U.K. are facing the same growing need for application agility and flexibility as companies everywhere, but often with more urgency,” commented Jan Erik Aase, partner and global leader, ISG Provider Lens Research. “Next-generation ADM providers are evolving their services to meet these kinds of demands, including the need for cultural change to adopt Agile development.”

Daniel Todd

Dan is a freelance writer and regular contributor to ChannelPro, covering the latest news stories across the IT, technology, and channel landscapes. Topics regularly cover cloud technologies, cyber security, software and operating system guides, and the latest mergers and acquisitions.

A journalism graduate from Leeds Beckett University, he combines a passion for the written word with a keen interest in the latest technology and its influence in an increasingly connected world.

He started writing for ChannelPro back in 2016, focusing on a mixture of news and technology guides, before becoming a regular contributor to ITPro. Elsewhere, he has previously written news and features across a range of other topics, including sport, music, and general news.