With data centers growing from dozens of single servers to hundreds or thousands of virtual servers distributed throughout the globe with software that has to accommodate such large scales, managing risk has never been so important. Software development today uses shorter cycles, continuous delivery, and agile techniques that can create additional risk.
With risk comes technical debt. Risk management must transcend the entire software development cycle, from requirements through deployment, regardless of methodology used. Whether it’s small bugs in code that propagate into large-scale system failures, or code that wasn't built to scale with the needed size, or even code that must perform far more features than originally intended, you need a way to measure and manage the risk. Unmanaged risk means lost revenue. You must mitigate the risk from the start, and to be ready for problems that might occur so that you can minimize the risk. Systems can fail unexpectedly; software can have stability problems; security flaws can be discovered by people you don't want discovering them; the list goes on.
Risk management must start at the top of the organization. The CIOs are the ones with the global view of the entire infrastructure, which means they are the ones that also need to have the closest view on risk throughout the organization's projects. The upper management simply can't rely on other people to make the decisions on risk. That, in itself, creates additional risk.
With the right skillset, the effective CIO can manage the risk and guide the teams along as they perform their duties. While one team might not be aware of how their decisions are impacting another team in another location, the CIO is the one who can make the connection. This is why CIOs must learn software risk management and choose the best tools and plans for the job.
But exactly what skills do the CIO and C-level managers need for managing risk?
The CIO and other management must learn the value of measuring software quality. The CIO must learn how to measure risk, and what metrics are available. Metrics span the entire operation, from the top global view, down to the individual lines of code and the individual software tests.
The CIO must know how to deal with production risk. Risk is not only present during development and testing, but also during decisions made after deployment. This risk must be understood and measured.
The CIO must develop an active plan that includes everyone in his or her organization, from the top down to individual developers, testers, and IT administrators.
The plan must include the right architecture and process. Today's processes call for rapid development and continuous delivery. As organizations move towards these newer processes, they must be ready for the risks involved.
And finally, the plan the CIO creates must include the right tools for the job. Are you ready to manage your risk and see how CAST’s Application Intelligence Platform is the right tool for the job? Please join us on September 24 from 4:00pm to 6:00pm for Managing Software Risk in Digital Transformation: Executive Discussion on balancing risk with speed and flexibility