INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Developers can boost economy by $1.6b annually: study

But due to work hurdles, firms could also be losing $232m every year.

The Singapore economy can grow $1.6b every year by harnessing their developer resources more effectively, a study by online payments firm Stripe revealed.

About 90% of businesses in Singapore are reliant on software to launch products, whilst 70% said that revenue from developer-driven products has increased over the last five years, the study revealed.

However, just over two-fifths (41%) of senior executives in Singapore say that a lack of qualified software engineers and developers is one of the greatest internal challenges facing their company today, even more so than a lack of capital (34%).

Three quarters (72%) of Singaporean businesses are also looking to hire developer talent in the next year, but the vast majority (69%) are finding it challenging to do so, making hiring developers a key battleground in Singapore.

At the same time, the study found out that “bad code” is costing companies $232m annually. Over a third of developers (32%) say that they’re spending at least half of their time reactively tackling “bad code” rather than working on strategic issues. Out of all the countries surveyed, Singapore also had the highest number of developers (70%) reporting that the amount of time they spend on bad code is excessive (59% all countries average).

Tellingly, 98% of business leaders say that increasing developer productivity is a key business priority, whilst around 70% say that the developers can accelerate product development and help companies differentiate themselves more.

In the face of this resource crunch, companies adopting modern technology stacks are finding them to be key levers of growth, freeing up developer time to help accelerate product development (86%), reduce overhead expense (72%), and reduce unnecessary headcount (68%).

“Software infrastructure has become the key determinant of the speed at which developers can ship code, build products, adapt to evolving consumer behaviour and enter new markets, and companies are making significant productivity gains by deploying third-party APIs and web services to automate peripheral business functions,” Stripe said.

A majority of companies in Singapore (61%) report that their use of third-party APIs and web services has increased over the past five years, helping them reduce operating costs (50%), accelerate product development and launch (42%). 

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