|By Roger Oberg||
|August 9, 2006 01:00 PM EDT||
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.
|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.
Much of the value of DevOps comes from a (renewed) focus on measurement, sharing, and continuous feedback loops. In increasingly complex DevOps workflows and environments, and especially in larger, regulated, or more crystallized organizations, these core concepts become even more critical. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, Andi Mann, Chief Technology Advocate at Splunk, will show how, by focusing on 'metrics that matter,' you can provide objective, transparent, and meaningfu...
May. 3, 2016 11:45 PM EDT Reads: 987
From the conception of Docker containers to the unfolding microservices revolution we see today, here is a brief history of what I like to call 'containerology'. In 2013, we were solidly in the monolithic application era. I had noticed that a growing amount of effort was going into deploying and configuring applications. As applications had grown in complexity and interdependency over the years, the effort to install and configure them was becoming significant. But the road did not end with a ...
May. 3, 2016 11:45 PM EDT Reads: 498
Many private cloud projects were built to deliver self-service access to development and test resources. While those clouds delivered faster access to resources, they lacked visibility, control and security needed for production deployments. In their session at 18th Cloud Expo, Steve Anderson, Product Manager at BMC Software, and Rick Lefort, Principal Technical Marketing Consultant at BMC Software, will discuss how a cloud designed for production operations not only helps accelerate developer...
May. 3, 2016 11:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,230
In a crowded world of popular computer languages, platforms and ecosystems, Node.js is one of the hottest. According to w3techs.com, Node.js usage has gone up 241 percent in the last year alone. Retailers have taken notice and are implementing it on many levels. I am going to share the basics of Node.js, and discuss why retailers are using it to reduce page load times and improve server efficiency. I’ll talk about similar developments such as Docker and microservices, and look at several compani...
May. 3, 2016 11:00 PM EDT Reads: 573
In the world of DevOps there are ‘known good practices’ – aka ‘patterns’ – and ‘known bad practices’ – aka ‘anti-patterns.' Many of these patterns and anti-patterns have been developed from real world experience, especially by the early adopters of DevOps theory; but many are more feasible in theory than in practice, especially for more recent entrants to the DevOps scene. In this power panel at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, moderated by DevOps Conference Chair Andi Mann, panelists will dis...
May. 3, 2016 08:45 PM EDT Reads: 948
Struggling to keep up with increasing application demand? Learn how Platform as a Service (PaaS) can streamline application development processes and make resource management easy.
May. 3, 2016 08:45 PM EDT Reads: 2,196
As the software delivery industry continues to evolve and mature, the challenge of managing the growing list of the tools and processes becomes more daunting every day. Today, Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) platforms are proving most valuable by providing the governance, management and coordination for every stage of development, deployment and release. Recently, I spoke with Madison Moore at SD Times about the changing market and where ALM is headed.
May. 3, 2016 08:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,565
If there is anything we have learned by now, is that every business paves their own unique path for releasing software- every pipeline, implementation and practices are a bit different, and DevOps comes in all shapes and sizes. Software delivery practices are often comprised of set of several complementing (or even competing) methodologies – such as leveraging Agile, DevOps and even a mix of ITIL, to create the combination that’s most suitable for your organization and that maximize your busines...
May. 3, 2016 07:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,913
The goal of any tech business worth its salt is to provide the best product or service to its clients in the most efficient and cost-effective way possible. This is just as true in the development of software products as it is in other product design services. Microservices, an app architecture style that leans mostly on independent, self-contained programs, are quickly becoming the new norm, so to speak. With this change comes a declining reliance on older SOAs like COBRA, a push toward more s...
May. 3, 2016 05:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,603
I have an article in the recently released “DZone Guide to Building and Deploying Applications on the Cloud” entitled “Fullstack Engineering in the Age of Hybrid Cloud”. In this article I discuss the need and skills of a Fullstack Engineer with relation to troubleshooting and repairing complex, distributed hybrid cloud applications. My recent experiences with troubleshooting issues with my Docker WordPress container only reinforce the details I wrote about in this piece. Without my comprehensive...
May. 3, 2016 04:45 PM EDT Reads: 897
Digital means customer preferences and behavior are driving enterprise technology decisions to be sure, but let’s not forget our employees. After all, when we say customer, we mean customer writ large, including partners, supply chain participants, and yes, those salaried denizens whose daily labor forms the cornerstone of the enterprise. While your customers bask in the warm rays of your digital efforts, are your employees toiling away in the dark recesses of your enterprise, pecking data into...
May. 3, 2016 04:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,132
Admittedly, two years ago I was a bulk contributor to the DevOps noise with conversations rooted in the movement around culture, principles, and goals. And while all of these elements of DevOps environments are important, I’ve found that the biggest challenge now is a lack of understanding as to why DevOps is beneficial. It’s getting the wheels going, or just taking the next step. The best way to start on the road to change is to take a look at the companies that have already made great headway ...
May. 3, 2016 04:30 PM EDT Reads: 344
Small teams are more effective. The general agreement is that anything from 5 to 12 is the 'right' small. But of course small teams will also have 'small' throughput - relatively speaking. So if your demand is X and the throughput of a small team is X/10, you probably need 10 teams to meet that demand. But more teams also mean more effort to coordinate and align their efforts in the same direction. So, the challenge is how to harness the power of small teams and yet orchestrate multiples of them...
May. 3, 2016 03:30 PM EDT Reads: 330
You deployed your app with the Bluemix PaaS and it's gaining some serious traction, so it's time to make some tweaks. Did you design your application in a way that it can scale in the cloud? Were you even thinking about the cloud when you built the app? If not, chances are your app is going to break. Check out this webcast to learn various techniques for designing applications that will scale successfully in Bluemix, for the confidence you need to take your apps to the next level and beyond.
May. 3, 2016 12:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,590
SYS-CON Events announced today that Peak 10, Inc., a national IT infrastructure and cloud services provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Peak 10 provides reliable, tailored data center and network services, cloud and managed services. Its solutions are designed to scale and adapt to customers’ changing business needs, enabling them to lower costs, improve performance and focus inter...
May. 3, 2016 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,366
With DevOps becoming more well-known and established practice in nearly every industry that delivers software, it is important to continually reassess its efficacy. This week’s top 10 includes a discussion on how the quick uptake of DevOps adoption in the enterprise has posed some serious challenges. Additionally, organizations who have taken the DevOps plunge must find ways to find, hire and keep their DevOps talent in order to keep the machine running smoothly.
May. 3, 2016 06:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,493
Wow, if you ever wanted to learn about Rugged DevOps (some call it DevSecOps), sit down for a spell with Shannon Lietz, Ian Allison and Scott Kennedy from Intuit. We discussed a number of important topics including internal war games, culture hacking, gamification of Rugged DevOps and starting as a small team. There are 100 gold nuggets in this conversation for novices and experts alike.
May. 3, 2016 06:15 AM EDT Reads: 910
The notion of customer journeys, of course, are central to the digital marketer’s playbook. Clearly, enterprises should focus their digital efforts on such journeys, as they represent customer interactions over time. But making customer journeys the centerpiece of the enterprise architecture, however, leaves more questions than answers. The challenge arises when EAs consider the context of the customer journey in the overall architecture as well as the architectural elements that make up each...
May. 3, 2016 03:30 AM EDT Reads: 2,016
Much of the discussion around cloud DevOps focuses on the speed with which companies need to get new code into production. This focus is important – because in an increasingly digital marketplace, new code enables new value propositions. New code is also often essential for maintaining competitive parity with market innovators. But new code doesn’t just have to deliver the functionality the business requires. It also has to behave well because the behavior of code in the cloud affects performan...
May. 3, 2016 03:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,452
In 2006, Martin Fowler posted his now famous essay on Continuous Integration. Looking back, what seemed revolutionary, radical or just plain crazy is now common, pedestrian and "just what you do." I love it. Back then, building and releasing software was a real pain. Integration was something you did at the end, after code complete, and we didn't know how long it would take. Some people may recall how we, as an industry, spent a massive amount of time integrating code from one team with another...
May. 3, 2016 12:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,070