January - 2014 - issue > In Conversation


Bill Curtis
SVP& Chief Scientist and Director of the Consortium for IT Software Quality (CISQ)-CAST
Thursday, January 23, 2014
Bill Curtis
CAST is a pioneer in Software Analysis and Measurement and introduces fact-based transparency into application development and sourcing to transform it into a management
discipline. New York based CAST is listed on NYSE-Euronext(Euronext: CAS) has a market cap of $23 million.

The benchmark has risen higher for improved quality of software managed by IT organizations which was meant for the benefit of their individual business processes. In turn, the consequent gradual increase has created concerns and unease on this front towards the contemporary IT services industry. In correlation to the problem, the Capability Maturity Model (CMM) through its optimization of processes, from ad hoc practices, to formally defined steps managed result metrics, active optimization of the processes; was revolutionary in changing the landscape of the industry roughly 20 years ago. However, CMM was only a process standard as it was an improvementonly of the process; very good work was achieved but that did not eliminate all the defects and that did not evaluate the product itself. There are a lot of fresh recruits,who despite a perfect process make mistakes as they are new and still on the learning curve. So, there is a need to take the next step beyond process and which could additionally measure the product in terms of software. On a broader perspective, there is an industrial need for software quality management to be able to have visibility into business critical applications, have the ability to control outsourced work and set better benchmarks.

Common Platform for Improving Software Standards
On this front, the Consortium for IT Software Quality (CISQ) comprising of of IT executives from the Global 2000, system integrators, outsourced service providers and software technology vendors have committed to introduce a computable metrics standard for measuring software quality and size. CISQ is a neutral, open forum in which customers and suppliers of IT application software can develop an industry-wide agenda of actions for improving IT application quality and reduce cost and risk. In turn outsourcers and their customers can have a standard to agree upon the quality that has to be delivered as a part of the contract. It can be used internally by companies that are trying to understand how good their people are; what kind of mistakes they are making and provide the data they need; the information they need to get better and to learn what kind of mistakes they make and avoid those in the future. The removal of these unforeseen glitches reduces the overall technical debts which are unquestionable through the parameters that CISQ provides. These guidelines measure the software product in great detail and identify not only the obvious functional problems which are done through testing but the structural integrity problems as well.CIO's; in the dawn of this acclaimed next wave in software engineering did not need just another proprietary solution, but a global standard which would span across the industry.

In this next wave in software engineering; there is a gradual move towards advanced service oriented architectures; all of which having aunitary focus on reuse which requires excellent extra product components. The guidelines that embody CISQ provide orders of merit really for how good a product is, based on its security, liability, and maintainability. As a pioneer in Software Analysis and Measurement based in France as well as in New York, CAST leverages these guidelines of CISQ through the induction of fact-based transparency into application development and sourcing to transform it into a management discipline.

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