On October 4, 2018, CAST Germany hosted its annual customer and partner conference around Oktoberfest. Numerous CIOs and IT experts followed the call to the BMW World in Munich to discuss the evolution of software measurement as companies reach a continuous state of transformation through DevOps, cloud adoption, innovative uses of Artificial Intelligence and modern relationships with software vendors.
Emerging Technologies and Artificial Intelligence
In his presentation, “The Future of Azure and Artificial Intelligence,” Ralph Kink of Microsoft stressed the growing importance of intelligent computer systems. There is currently an explosion of interest in AI because computing and memory performance are now able to support the demand.
Yet, as companies adopt “intelligence software,” Kink counsels that teams should maintain a cooperation between man and machine for optimal results. For example, Microsoft has introduced a strict set of ethical rules that make AI work for people, not the other way around. The digital feedback loop, which analyzes the interactions between customers, employees, products and operations, also contributes to this. “We have to make sure that we do not make a terminator.”
DevOps Propels Continuous Transformation
With a provocative thesis, Diego Lo Giudice of Forrester opened his presentation with the statement that “21% of big business executives say they've completed the transformation.” This, of course, is a misconception, because any kind of transformation is a permanent process that will never be completed.
In this context, DevOps and Agile play a central role in any enterprise in order to keep the internal dynamics of the company in a constant flow. Lo Guidice had three recommendations to help companies achieve excellence in DevOps and continuous transformation:
- Evolve development and delivery to adopt modern software measurement practices
- Adopt a startup-like corporate culture
- Use growth technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence, to drive smarter delivery methods
Demand for Software Quality Standards
In my keynote address, I stressed the need for a kind of TÜV, a generally accepted software quality standard for all industries. We live in a time when every newcomer to YouTube can learn to program. How should companies value and measure the quality and security of such code?
Organizations like the Consortium for IT Software Quality (CISQ) are publishing valuable code quality standards, but they are not yet widely adopted in the market. As privacy and security become more important for organizations from retail to banking to manufacturing, standards like those from CISQ can help serve as a benchmark for continuous improvement while teams work feverishly to modernize legacy IT systems.
Dr. Thorsten Klaßen, COO at the German Council of Foreign Relations (DGAP), echoed my comments on the need for a TÜV-type, certified quality standard for software. He sees many of the same challenges in the institutions and government organizations he advises.
Productivity is highly prized over maintaining high levels of quality, and security, scalability and functionality enhancements are always weighed against the use of taxpayers’ money. Until a common software standard is put in place, it's even more important to have solutions like Software Intelligence that make a significant contribution to improving software quality and security.
One of our large banking customers helped to put things in perspective. Under their CIO's supervision are more than 2,500 applications, all of which need to be maintained in parallel. This organization uses CAST to analyze and evaluate itself according to self-defined parameters such as Business Value or Security Indexing.
Important for them is not only the current state of the infrastructure, but also the behavior of the server under temporal aspects. The CIO needs to know the answers to questions like, What is the effect of reinstalling apps? or What changes can be observed over an annual period? so he can inform his business stakeholders that their investments in software improvement are paying off.
CAST’s Business Acceleration Program
To help reduce complexity in transformational programs, CAST has teamed up with partners like Microsoft (and others) to provide the best possible solutions for customers struggling to reach the next phase of their modernization goals. Whether it’s mergers and acquisitions, cloud migrations, automating DevOps or integrating Artificial Intelligence in smart development practices, CAST has a “joint expert team” to get you on your way. For more information contact us, or learn more about what Software Intelligence can do for you.
Erik Oltmans, an Associate Partner from EY, Netherlands, spoke at the Software Intelligence Forum on how the consulting behemoth uses Software Intelligence in its Transaction Advisory services.
Erik describes the changing landscape of M & A. Besides the financial and commercial aspects, PE firms now equally value technical assessments, especially for targets with significant software assets. He goes on to detail how CAST Highlight makes these assessments possible with limited access to the targetâ€™s systems, customized quality metrics, and liability implications of open source components - all three that are critical for an M&A due diligence.