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Research from Software Improvement Group reveals trends in software build quality, impacts of COVID-19 on development productivity

The second annual SIG Benchmark Report is based on an 11-year analysis of 36 billion lines of code across more than 280 technologies

Amsterdam, July 23, 2020 – Software Improvement Group (SIG), the independent authority on software assurance, published today the findings of its second annual Benchmark Report on the state of the software industry. The report is based on the company’s analysis of 36 billion lines of code across more than 280 technologies, taken from 5,000 system assessments in every major industry.

This year’s research found that software build quality has continued to steadily increase. According to the report:

A driver of this trend can be found in SIG’s measurements that new code is generally smaller and less complex than before. This trend is strengthened by the growing usage of Low Code and BPM solutions, as well as in other technology stacks, such as Microsoft .NET-based technologies.”

Report findings also reveal a spike at the start of the COVID-19 lockdown in both build quality as well as development productivity. According to the report:

The month of March, 2020 presents itself as a clear outlier, as we see a remarkable peak in systems that increase their build quality above expectation. Where we normally would have seen a maximum of 5% of systems showing exceptional changes, this month shows more than 15%. Similarly, we observe that 10% of systems showed production above expectation, while just a small percentage fell below.”

The 2020 Benchmark Report also covers the following topics:
  • Build quality ranking by industry, including the Government, Banking, Insurance, Financial Services, Telecommunications, Software & Computer Services, Energy, Oil & Gas, Media, Health Care, Retail, and Industrial Transportation sectors

  • Build quality ranking by tech stack, including JVM, Java-related technologies, Microsoft .NET-related technologies; packaged solutions, customizations of configurable ERP, CRM systems; legacy technologies, such as COBOL, and other 3GL/4GL languages; scripting and mobile technologies; and low-code and BPM technologies

  • Impacts of monitoring on build quality, with analysis of consistent and inconsistent monitoring as well as a lack thereof
Luc Brandts, CEO of SIG: “The global pandemic has underscored the importance of digital capabilities, and there’s no question about the crucial role software plays. We’re pleased to see that, despite the pandemic, software build quality continues to improve. However, the report also shows us some underlying tendencies, such as architecture complexity, that have the potential to reverse this positive trend. We believe these insights can be applied directly in daily operations and encourage organizations to use them to further advance their own digital health.”

Magiel Bruntink, Head of Research at SIG adds: “The results in this year’s report are incredibly revealing. One of our most significant findings was the clear impact of software quality monitoring. Our analysis shows that organizations can realize significant reductions in application maintenance costs – that can then be reallocated towards innovation – by consistently monitoring their build quality.

Request complimentary access to the report:

About Software Improvement Group
Software Improvement Group (SIG) helps business and technology leaders drive their organizational objectives by fundamentally improving the health and security of their software applications. SIG combines its proprietary software assurance platform, Sigrid®, and benchmark data with its consultants’ expertise to help organizations measure, evaluate and improve code quality - whether they’re building, buying or operating software.

As an independent organization, SIG has the industry’s largest benchmark with 36 billion lines of code across more than 280 technologies. The expert consultants at SIG use the benchmark to evaluate an organization’s digital assets on maintainability, scalability, reliability, complexity, security, privacy and other critical factors for future proof software. The SIG laboratory is the only one in the world accredited according to ISO/IEC 17025 for software quality analysis.

SIG is headquartered in Amsterdam with offices in New York, Copenhagen, Antwerp and Frankfurt. Learn more at

End release

Software Improvement Group

Clarinda Dobbelaar
Chief Customer Officer
+31 2 03 14 09 50
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