Category: Software Measurement

Adding Measurement to Your Application Outsourcing

A recurring issue for IT and business management is whether it’s best to build an in-house team or outsource the development of software applications. Some of the biggest factors when contemplating application outsourcing are cost, security and loss of control.

Business agility remains a top priority, but this puts added pressure on teams to move fast, and can sometimes lead to rushed projects and a lack of attention to detail. When in-house teams are under tight deadline restrictions, corners can get cut. In fact, most in the developer community agree that outsourcing is the best way to go for timely and on-budget development projects.

EA Insights – The Fact-Based Measurement Effect

Today, CAST is meeting hundreds of Enterprise Architect aficionados, gurus, practitioners and professionals in National Harbor at the Gartner EA Summit. When glancing at the agenda, it is evident that EA has become omnipresent and is interacting either directly or indirectly with 100% of hot IT challenges such as Digital Transformation, Cloud Readiness, Internet of Things, Cyber Security and Innovation - the topics that are keeping many executives up at night.

The intent of this post is to share “one” view of the EA journey and provide some personal insight into software risk management and what I think will be the upcoming challenges in our favorite discipline.

CAST User Group on Function Point Analysis: Key Findings

1On April 6th, CAST held a user group meeting on the topic of function point analysis and software productivity measurement. The meeting gathered more than 20 software measurement professionals from major companies in the banking, IT consulting, telecom, aviation and public sectors for a two-hour working session to discuss the benefits of function point analysis testing.

The event featured presentations including:

  1. An IBM case study on how they worked with CAST to integrate and secure an Automated Function Point (AFP) approach with a big player in the aeronautic sector within TMA Systems
  2. Functional sizing case study
  3. Updates on the new CISQ standards for Automated Function Points
  4. The importance of internal and external benchmarking
Software Risk: Executive Insights on Application Resiliency

Software risks to the business, specifically Application Resiliency, headline a recent executive roundtable hosted by CAST and sponsored by IBM Italy, ZeroUno and the Boston Consulting Group.  European IT executives from the financial services industry assembled to debate the importance of mitigating software risks to their business.

Software Benchmarks and Benchmarking

Reifer Consultants LLC’s recent white paper, Software Benchmarks and Benchmarking, discusses software benchmarking process and provides information on industry

Poor Software Quality Impacts Application Security

Dr. Carol Woody of SEI was recently featured on a CISQ webinar about the correlation of software quality and software security. Her lessons on this topic highlight why software security cannot be something added after-the-fact, it must rather be factored into the development of software applications from the moment coding begins.

This is a lesson that companies such as Sony need to learn. While past breaches like the ones carried out by the LulzSec group in 2011, affected their customers and cost them dearly in terms of reputation and reparations, the one they suffered late last year hurt them much closer to home when cyber criminals breached Sony’s entire network and threatened to expose all stolen data.

Automated Function Points Provide Data-Driven Captives Management

Last month in this space I wrote about the importance of optimizing the cost-effectiveness of Captives (i.e., Global In-House Centers) by setting metrics and enhancing process transparency for better management of them. For these management methods to work, though, an organization needs to employ automated function points as a way to way to gain insight about current costs and supplied value, which can then be used to enhance received output from current or future providers.

VIDEO: IT Expert Calls Upon Automated Function Points for Vendor Management

Barbara Beech, an expert in the field of IT development for telecommunications companies, recently spoke to CAST in a video chat about her experience using software analysis and measurement as well as automated function points to gain visibility into IT vendor deliverables.

As a solution to gaining visibility into IT vendor deliverables, Beech points to the CAST Automated Function Points (AFP) capability – an automatic function points counting method that is based on rules defined by the International Function Point User Group (IFPUG). CAST automates the manual counting process by using the structural information retrieved by source code analysis, database structure and transactions.

Five Reasons You MUST Measure Software Complexity

There’s an old adage in the IT industry – you can’t manage what you can’t measure. Knowing how complex an organization’s application portfolio is provides insight into how to manage it best. The problem is the issues that comprise software complexity – legacy system remnants, antiquated code, overwritten and rewritten code, the integration of formerly proprietary applications, et al – are the same things that make measuring it difficult.

With multiple system interfaces and complex requirements, the complexity of software systems sometimes grows beyond control, rendering applications and portfolios too costly to maintain and too risky to enhance. Left unchecked, software complexity can run rampant in delivered projects, leaving behind bloated, cumbersome applications. In fact, Alain April, an expert in the field of IT maintenance, has stated, “the act of maintaining software necessarily degrades it.”