Welcome!

SOA & WOA Authors: Carmen Gonzalez, Liz McMillan, Scott Bampton, Gilad Parann-Nissany, Andrew Phillips

Related Topics: Java, SOA & WOA

Java: Article

Compliance Issues Represent Pieces of a Puzzle

IBM's Rational Focuses on Business-Driven Development

Imagine trying to solve a puzzle without being certain what the end result should look like, much less how the pieces fit together. Now imagine trying to build the puzzle pieces themselves. Bit of a challenge? To say the least! But this is exactly the situation facing many business and IT executives when it comes to complying with the increasing number of standards and regulations in their industries today.

Why the recent surge of interest in regulatory and standards compliance? With the health and welfare of their citizens and local businesses in mind, global governments are requiring more accountability from organizations that do business within or across their borders. Since 1999, new legislation has passed in the United States that subjects business, IT, and even the software development process itself to audits. Some of the better known legislative acts, such as Sarbanes-Oxley, Basel II and the Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act (HIPAA), have placed financial services and health care providers directly in the spotlight. These industries are spending money on ensuring compliance, but with mixed results so far. In the United States, for example, an estimated $2.5 billion will be spent annually by Fortune 1000 companies on compliance-related projects.

It doesn’t help that compliance requirements are often a puzzle in and of themselves. They are mandatory, but the steps to achieve compliance are not always outlined. In section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley act, for example, it says a company must have “good controls,” but it doesn’t clearly state what they are or how to achieve that. Regulatory requirements are also ever-changing, yet businesses are required to constantly demonstrate compliance. So for many businesses, well intended compliance requirements involve risk without clear guidelines for managing that risk.

Complying with regulations and standards is all about encapsulating business processes. It’s about clarifying and formalizing the way you do business – everything from taking an order to preparing goods for shipment, shipping and taking payment, and then allowing for scenarios like credit returns, faulty products or discounting – and appropriately recording that information.

Many companies have automated these processes by buying off-the-shelf IT packages and customizing them or, in many cases, by building their own custom-made applications. In either case, the modifications or new applications introduce yet another dimension to the puzzle: new pieces that must be shown to fit. This is the stage where compliance can become an even greater challenge.

In custom systems there can be a lot of people working on the development of the applications and errors can creep in, things can change. To withstand an audit – whether internal or external – a business has to be able to prove that the software system it has said it was going to build is the one it actually built, and that the software it built is the one it ultimately deployed – two separate processes. In essence, to achieve true compliance, businesses must be able to demonstrate the reliability and accuracy of any business process and show transparency throughout their development process.

It’s possible to demonstrate business process reliability and accuracy and have a transparent development process by manually compiling information at the time of an audit, but as you might imagine there is a high degree of overhead and risk associated with this reactive approach. There is a direct cost as well as the staff distraction and lost opportunity costs.

Establishing an effective governance framework for software delivery, what IBM Rational Software calls “Business Driven Development,” is a better choice. IBM Rational’s Software Development Platform provides guidance to customers with regard to best practices in developing software. Rational’s portfolio, requirements, testing, and software configuration management products provide a wide range of tools that capture information about what’s going on and what changes were made, what tests were done, what the design documents were and so on. It’s an ongoing process, so businesses can continuously capture information and maintain compliance. Using Rational’s automated workflow system for software delivery, a number of people in various locations can sign off on changes and allocate work.  Instead of one hour per day spent on compliance issues, an hour-long conference call per week may be all that is required.

As an example, various companies in the financial services industry have chosen to work with IBM Rational to strengthen their testing and requirements practices to improve traceability and compliance with regulations like Sarbanes-Oxley. One such customer, a leading provider of data processing and information management services solutions, replaced a competitive testing solution with tools from Rational to improve its application testing processes, resulting in streamlined IT governance and regulatory compliance capabilities.   

Aside from the assurance that comes from knowing the business is compliant, organizations can benefit from reduced risk and lowered costs in the long-term, improved infrastructure and project ownership, as well as better governance and understanding of business processes. With the right software delivery governance framework in place, the regulatory and standards compliance puzzle will look a lot more solvable.  

More Stories By Roger Oberg

Roger Oberg leads IBM Rational’s marketing team, including Rational’s strategy and planning, product and solution marketing, technical marketing, marketing programs, marketing operations and business partner marketing efforts.

Prior to joining IBM as director of market management in February 2003, when IBM acquired Rational Software, Roger was Rational's vice president of product marketing. He was vice president and general manager, visual modeling products from 1999 until 2002 and vice president and general manager, requirements management products from 1997 to 1999, overseeing 100%+ growth in both businesses. Roger joined Rational when Requisite Software was acquired in 1997, where he was vice president, marketing and sales. He was executive director for AIN at USWest, held vice president of engineering and marketing positions at XVT Software before that and spent nearly 10 years in sales, sales training, sales management and marketing positions for NBI, an office automation software and systems company. He has also served on the boards of two start-up software companies.

Comments (1) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Most Recent Comments
JDJ News Desk 08/09/06 12:29:42 PM EDT

Imagine trying to solve a puzzle without being certain what the end result should look like, much less how the pieces fit together. Now imagine trying to build the puzzle pieces themselves. Bit of a challenge? To say the least! But this is exactly the situation facing many business and IT executives when it comes to complying with the increasing number of standards and regulations in their industries today.

@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that Harbinger Systems will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Harbinger Systems is a global company providing software technology services. Since 1990, Harbinger has developed a strong customer base worldwide. Its customers include software product companies ranging from hi-tech start-ups in Silicon Valley to leading product companies in the US and large in-house IT organizations.
SYS-CON Events announces a new pavilion on the Cloud Expo floor where WebRTC converges with the Internet of Things. Pavilion will showcase WebRTC and the Internet of Things. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices--computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors – connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades.
The only place to be June 9-11 is Cloud Expo & @ThingsExpo 2015 East at the Javits Center in New York City. Join us there as delegates from all over the world come to listen to and engage with speakers & sponsors from the leading Cloud Computing, IoT & Big Data companies. Cloud Expo & @ThingsExpo are the leading events covering the booming market of Cloud Computing, IoT & Big Data for the enterprise. Speakers from all over the world will be hand-picked for their ability to explore the economic strategies that utility/cloud computing provides. Whether public, private, or in a hybrid form, clo...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Gridstore™, the leader in software-defined storage (SDS) purpose-built for Windows Servers and Hyper-V, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Gridstore™ is the leader in software-defined storage purpose built for virtualization that is designed to accelerate applications in virtualized environments. Using its patented Server-Side Virtual Controller™ Technology (SVCT) to eliminate the I/O blender effect and accelerate applications Gridsto...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Red Hat, the world's leading provider of open source solutions, will exhibit at Internet of @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Red Hat is the world's leading provider of open source software solutions, using a community-powered approach to reliable and high-performing cloud, Linux, middleware, storage and virtualization technologies. Red Hat also offers award-winning support, training, and consulting services. As the connective hub in a global network of enterprises, partners, a...
As the Internet of Things unfolds, mobile and wearable devices are blurring the line between physical and digital, integrating ever more closely with our interests, our routines, our daily lives. Contextual computing and smart, sensor-equipped spaces bring the potential to walk through a world that recognizes us and responds accordingly. We become continuous transmitters and receivers of data. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Andrew Bolwell, Director of Innovation for HP’s Printing and Personal Systems Group, will discuss how key attributes of mobile technology – touch input, senso...
The Internet of Things (IoT) is making everything it touches smarter – smart devices, smart cars and smart cities. And lucky us, we’re just beginning to reap the benefits as we work toward a networked society. However, this technology-driven innovation is impacting more than just individuals. The IoT has an environmental impact as well, which brings us to the theme of this month’s #IoTuesday Twitter chat. The ability to remove inefficiencies through connected objects is driving change throughout every sector, including waste management. BigBelly Solar, located just outside of Boston, is trans...
Connected devices and the Internet of Things are getting significant momentum in 2014. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, will examine three key elements that together will drive mass adoption of the IoT before the end of 2015. The first element is the recent advent of robust open source protocols (like AllJoyn and WebRTC) that facilitate M2M communication. The second is broad availability of flexible, cost-effective storage designed to handle the massive surge in back-end data in a world where timely analytics...
Internet of @ThingsExpo Silicon Valley announced on Thursday its first 12 all-star speakers and sessions for its upcoming event, which will take place November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in California. @ThingsExpo, the first and largest IoT event in the world, debuted at the Javits Center in New York City in June 10-12, 2014 with over 6,000 delegates attending the conference. Among the first 12 announced world class speakers, IBM will present two highly popular IoT sessions, which will take place November 4-6, 2014 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, Calif...
The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to evolve the way the world does business; however, understanding how to apply it to your company can be a mystery. Most people struggle with understanding the potential business uses or tend to get caught up in the technology, resulting in solutions that fail to meet even minimum business goals. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jesse Shiah, CEO / President / Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., will show what is needed to leverage the IoT to transform your business. He will discuss opportunities and challenges ahead for the IoT from a market and tec...
SYS-CON Events announced today that TeleStax, the main sponsor of Mobicents, will exhibit at Internet of @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TeleStax provides Open Source Communications software and services that facilitate the shift from legacy SS7 based IN networks to IP based LTE and IMS networks hosted on private (on-premise), hybrid or public clouds. TeleStax products include Restcomm, JSLEE, SMSC Gateway, USSD Gateway, SS7 Resource Adaptors, SIP Servlets, Rich Multimedia Services, Presence Services/RCS, Diame...
From a software development perspective IoT is about programming "things," about connecting them with each other or integrating them with existing applications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Yakov Fain, co-founder of Farata Systems and SuranceBay, will show you how small IoT-enabled devices from multiple manufacturers can be integrated into the workflow of an enterprise application. This is a practical demo of building a framework and components in HTML/Java/Mobile technologies to serve as a platform that can integrate new devices as they become available on the market.
SYS-CON Events announced today that O'Reilly Media has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. O'Reilly Media spreads the knowledge of innovators through its books, online services, magazines, and conferences. Since 1978, O'Reilly Media has been a chronicler and catalyst of cutting-edge development, homing in on the technology trends that really matter and spurring their adoption by amplifying "faint signals" from the alpha geeks who are creating the future. An...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Aria Systems, the recurring revenue expert, has been named "Bronze Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Aria Systems helps leading businesses connect their customers with the products and services they love. Industry leaders like Pitney Bowes, Experian, AAA NCNU, VMware, HootSuite and many others choose Aria to power their recurring revenue business and deliver exceptional experiences to their customers.
The Transparent Cloud-computing Consortium (abbreviation: T-Cloud Consortium) will conduct research activities into changes in the computing model as a result of collaboration between "device" and "cloud" and the creation of new value and markets through organic data processing High speed and high quality networks, and dramatic improvements in computer processing capabilities, have greatly changed the nature of applications and made the storing and processing of data on the network commonplace.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is going to require a new way of thinking and of developing software for speed, security and innovation. This requires IT leaders to balance business as usual while anticipating for the next market and technology trends. Cloud provides the right IT asset portfolio to help today’s IT leaders manage the old and prepare for the new. Today the cloud conversation is evolving from private and public to hybrid. This session will provide use cases and insights to reinforce the value of the network in helping organizations to maximize their company’s cloud experience.
As a disruptive technology, Web Real-Time Communication (WebRTC), which is an emerging standard of web communications, is redefining how brands and consumers communicate in real time. The on-going narrative around WebRTC has largely been around incorporating video, audio and chat functions to apps. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Alex Gouaillard, Founder and CTO of Temasys Communications, will look at a fourth element – data channels – and talk about its potential to move WebRTC beyond browsers and into the Internet of Things.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Gigaom Research has been named "Media Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Ashar Baig, Research Director, Cloud, at Gigaom Research, will also lead a Power Panel on the topic "Choosing the Right Cloud Option." Gigaom Research provides timely, in-depth analysis of emerging technologies for individual and corporate subscribers. Gigaom Research's network of 200+ independent analysts provides new content daily that bridges the gap between break...
We certainly live in interesting technological times. And no more interesting than the current competing IoT standards for connectivity. Various standards bodies, approaches, and ecosystems are vying for mindshare and positioning for a competitive edge. It is clear that when the dust settles, we will have new protocols, evolved protocols, that will change the way we interact with devices and infrastructure. We will also have evolved web protocols, like HTTP/2, that will be changing the very core of our infrastructures. At the same time, we have old approaches made new again like micro-services...
The Industrial Internet revolution is now underway, enabled by connected machines and billions of devices that communicate and collaborate. The massive amounts of Big Data requiring real-time analysis is flooding legacy IT systems and giving way to cloud environments that can handle the unpredictable workloads. Yet many barriers remain until we can fully realize the opportunities and benefits from the convergence of machines and devices with Big Data and the cloud, including interoperability, data security and privacy.