As Larry Quinlan, Global CIO, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited explains, “CIOs need the courage to make the investments that reduce technical debt — and the knowledge and the team to know where and when to make those investments.”
Yet, despite the advances that give IT management proper visibility into the cost and quality of their application development, one issue still remains unresolved: accurate technical debt estimation. The issue resides in how technical debt is calculated and communicated to management.
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Software analysis and measurement is the intelligent use of application information to improve IT investment decisions, operational performance, and customer outcomes. While the notion of measuring application development (ADM) has long been a controversial one; as application development and maintenance matures and measurement capabilities evolve organizations are finding that the ability to effectively measure application development output can lead to many benefits:
Michael Furniss, Director of Software Quality Assurance and Testing COE at Coca-Cola’s Bottling Investment Group lead a discussion on how system level analysis improves dialog with application service providers. He shared his experience about how software analysis and measurement has enhanced his traditional process and tool landscape; leading to better identification of legacy SAP code vulnerabilities that can lead to performance and stability issues. Mr. Furniss outlined how Coca Cola has deployed this solution across their global organization and how it focuses development efforts to reduce risk and total ownership cost while keeping their executive sponsors and partners happy.
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In this post, we wanted to take a step back and break down exactly what a function point is and how an IT organization can use them to measure application development productivity, improve IT project planning and estimating, and better manage application service providers.
You’d be hard pressed to find any organization that isn’t using measurement — either for marketing, sales, social media, and countless other ways. In fact, a recent report from IDC predicts that by 2017, 80% of the CIO’s time will be focused on analytics, cybersecurity, and creating new revenue streams through digital services.
So why is it that, with such a clear understanding of the value of measurement and analytics, the notion of measuring application development is still absent from the board room?
For many IT-intensive enterprises, the bloating cost of maintaining software applications may be the biggest elephant in the room. Software maintenance costs typically comprise up to 75% of the total cost of ownership of each application. With so much investment and energy dedicated to keeping the lights on, finding a way to better allocate IT resources — even just by a marginal amount — can have significant impact on the enterprise’s capacity to innovate.
CAST’s research into this area has uncovered some provocative findings. As we’ve discussed previously on the On Quality blog, the cost of maintaining a software application is directly proportional to its size and complexity. IT organizations can take several steps using static code quality analysis to reduce size and complexity, and thus diminish their software maintenance costs.
Last week I took a short sub-channel trip to attend CAST’s Annual CIO Conference on Risk and Productivity Measurement, in Paris. Having only fluency in English, and limited proficiency in Mandarin, I was a little nervous to travel alone to France – having been warned by a French colleague the Parisians could be especially intolerant when it came to bad French. Continue reading →