Application-development leaders shifting to modern techniques are like acrobats performing above a flimsy net. The tools and technologies they need to support the planning, execution, and evaluation of customer-focused applications just aren't widely available yet. The biggest gaps are in portfolio management, test-and-learn development environments, and digital application platforms. This report provides an overview of the tools and technologies application-development leaders need. 
Our key findings: 
  1. Organizing Principles For Tools: Composition, Collaboration, Continuous Delivery. An emphasis on composition, collaboration, and continuous delivery makes modern application development different from prior eras. Tools and technologies must support with equal facility apps, projects, and assets living in public clouds and private data centers. They must also foster contextual collaboration in near real time to enable rapid, continuous delivery.
  2. Tools Reflect The Needs Of Cross-Skilled "Two-Pizza” Teams. Tools for modern application development and delivery reflect the convergence of roles across the old boundaries between product management, design, development, QA, and operations. Not all market-leading products act on this reality; they still address siloed roles as before. Thus, application-development teams will look to new tools — even command-line editors — and open source projects to improve project flow.
  3. Continuous Integration Tool Chains Are Key To New Life-Cycle Management. Continuous delivery and DevOps tools are useful foundations but are insufficient for complete application life cycles. Low-code platforms supplement coding approaches. App administration and management is proactive, and development cycles have a constant need for customer feedback and analytics data.
This is one of those moments in software development when a tactical focus puts application-development shops in peril. A classic example: A team evaluates a new portal platform but completely misses the value such investments have for creating integration/aggregation platforms suitable for mobile, modern apps. Every new investment in digital application platforms, middleware, and development tools should advance application-development teams' progress toward a new generation of tools, as well as practices.