Software Analytics: Nine Steps to Create Better IT Budgets

All businesses recognize the importance of developing software within a budget. But how do you put together that IT budget in the first place? CAST has worked with a successful CIO to create a guideline of best practices. Saad Ayub, formerly CIO at Scholastic and The Hartford, suggests nine ways analytics supports better IT budgets.

Software Risk: 4 Case Studies in Software Quality and Software Schedules by Capers Jones

This post is taken from Capers Jones, VP and CTO, Namcook Analytics LLC original paper Software Risk Master (SRM) Estimating Examples For Quality and Schedules.

IT Trends 2016: Insights from the CAST CIO and IT Leaders’ Roundtable Discussion

Last week, CAST, a global leader in software analytics, invited more than 100 IT professionals to participate in a software risk and analytics roundtable in New York, NY. The daylong exchange included CIOs, industry analysts, systems integrators and IT advisory firms. As an outcome of this gathering, CAST published an IT Trends 2016 Report. The following post attempts to capture some of the exchange between participants and key takeaways.

IT Trends 2016

Executive Visibility – Topping the list of IT Trends 2016 is helping CIOs take advantage of Big Data for themselves, while cutting through the clutter. Accelerating the time from data to decision requires analytics that highlight areas of risk and opportunity in support of business decisions, not technical ones. Proactive, predictive insight arms CIOs with the ability to ask the right questions, to challenge the status quo and surface technical risks that jeopardize revenue, reputation or brand. Real-time solutions that improve the signal-to-noise ratio top the CIO’s wish list for 2016.

Measuring Legacy Systems for Technical Debt and Quality

When a business develops software, new technologies eventually outgrow the software. But that doesn’t mean the software stops working, which is why businesses continue to use legacy software. In fact, after all the fixes and patches, the legacy software still gets used because it simply works, even if it means the users are forced to run older operating systems and older web browsers to use it.

Join Fellow CIOs & Executives for a Session on Software Risk Management

Consider this an invitation….to find out how you can significantly reduce the risk that exists within your applications.
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. Register here.

Software Quality Gets Better through Standardization NOT Innovation

DARPA’s quest for better software quality is honorable but misguided.