While 83 per cent of software development projects collapse because users underestimate the scope of the programme, they are more likely to be abandoned completely if developers have failed to use configuration management tools.
Such tools are fundamental to good software practice, but too many users still develop their own 'white elephants', which become more difficult to maintain and administer than the original development project.
These are the findings of a report by market research firm Ovum, entitled 'Ovum evaluates: configuration management'.
According to the study, the market is currently worth $490 million, but will rise in value to $1.29 billion by 2000, driven by the opening up of new market sectors such as Web page management and the increasing migration of legacy, host-based systems to client/server.
Clive Burrows, an analyst at Ovum, said: ?The first issue is that this technology works and delivers, and suppliers have worked hard to make it easier to use. The second is it really saves users from major problems on a day-to-day basis, especially with process and audit issues. It provides developers with considerable productivity gains, and enables them to make necessary changes to software at the same time.?
He added that many users did not think about using such technology until they experienced a major software development disaster. But, as they were forced to deal with a greater range of technology such as relational databases, where inhouse skills were often lacking, they increasingly found configuration management tools were a means of retaining control.
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