Click here to close now.

Welcome!

MICROSERVICES Authors: David Sprott, Lori MacVittie, Carmen Gonzalez, Roger Strukhoff, Cloud Best Practices Network

Related Topics: Java, MICROSERVICES

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.

@MicroservicesExpo Stories
Microservices, for the uninitiated, are essentially the decomposition of applications into multiple services. This decomposition is often based on functional lines, with related functions being grouped together into a service. While this may sound a like SOA, it really isn't, especially given that SOA was an object-centered methodology that focused on creating services around "nouns" like customer and product. Microservices, while certainly capable of being noun-based, are just as likely to be v...
SYS-CON Events announced today the DevOps Foundation Certification Course, being held June ?, 2015, in conjunction with DevOps Summit and 16th Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. This sixteen (16) hour course provides an introduction to DevOps – the cultural and professional movement that stresses communication, collaboration, integration and automation in order to improve the flow of work between software developers and IT operations professionals. Improved workflows will res...
Containers and microservices have become topics of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities. Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming 16th Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York June 9-11 will find fresh new content in a new track called PaaS | Containers & Microservices Containers are not being considered for the first time by the cloud community, but a current era of re-consideration has pushed them to the top of the cloud agenda. With the launch ...
Modern Systems announced completion of a successful project with its new Rapid Program Modernization (eavRPMa"c) software. The eavRPMa"c technology architecturally transforms legacy applications, enabling faster feature development and reducing time-to-market for critical software updates. Working with Modern Systems, the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB) leveraged eavRPMa"c to transform its Student Information System from Software AG's Natural syntax to a modern application lev...
OmniTI has expanded its services to help customers automate their processes to deliver high quality applications to market faster. Consistent with its focus on IT agility and quality, OmniTI operates under DevOps principles, exploring the flow of value through the IT delivery process, identifying opportunities to eliminate waste, realign misaligned incentives, and open bottlenecks. OmniTI takes a unique, value-centric approach by plotting each opportunity in an effort-payoff quadrant, then work...
An explosive combination of technology trends will be where ‘microservices’ and the IoT Internet of Things intersect, a concept we can describe by comparing it with a previous theme, the ‘X Internet.' The idea of using small self-contained application components has been popular since XML Web services began and a distributed computing future of smart fridges and kettles was imagined long back in the early Internet years.
SOA Software has changed its name to Akana. With roots in Web Services and SOA Governance, Akana has established itself as a leader in API Management and is expanding into cloud integration as an alternative to the traditional heavyweight enterprise service bus (ESB). The company recently announced that it achieved more than 90% year-over-year growth. As Akana, the company now addresses the evolution and diversification of SOA, unifying security, management, and DevOps across SOA, APIs, microser...
Even though it’s now Microservices Journal, long-time fans of SOA World Magazine can take comfort in the fact that the URL – soa.sys-con.com – remains unchanged. And that’s no mistake, as microservices are really nothing more than a new and improved take on the Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) best practices we struggled to hammer out over the last decade. Skeptics, however, might say that this change is nothing more than an exercise in buzzword-hopping. SOA is passé, and now that people are ...
Cloud computing is changing the way we look at IT costs, according to industry experts on a recent Cloud Luminary Fireside Chat panel discussion. Enterprise IT, traditionally viewed as a cost center, now plays a central role in the delivery of software-driven goods and services. Therefore, companies need to understand their cloud utilization and resulting costs in order to ensure profitability on their business offerings. Led by Bernard Golden, this fireside chat offers valuable insights on ho...
The 16th Cloud Expo has added coverage containers and microservices to its program for New York, to be held June 9-11 at the Jacob Javits Convention Center. Cloud Expo has long been the single, independent show where delegates and technology vendors can meet to experience and discuss the entire world of the cloud. This year will be no different. Containers are an old concept that saw renewed life with the emergence of Docker in 2013. Then late in 2014, CoreOS shook up the cloud-computing w...
Our guest on the podcast this week is Jason Bloomberg, President at Intellyx. When we build services we want them to be lightweight, stateless and scalable while doing one thing really well. In today’s cloud world, we’re revisiting what to takes to make a good service in the first place.microservices Listen in to learn why following “the book” doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re solving key business problems.
The Open Compute Project is a collective effort by Facebook and a number of players in the datacenter industry to bring lessons learned from the social media giant's giant IT deployment to the rest of the world. Datacenters account for 3% of global electricity consumption – about the same as all of Switzerland or the Czech Republic -- according to people I met at the recent Open Compute Summit in San Jose. With increasing mobility at the edge of the cloud and vast new dataflows being pre...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cisco, the worldwide leader in IT that transforms how people connect, communicate and collaborate, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Cisco makes amazing things happen by connecting the unconnected. Cisco has shaped the future of the Internet by becoming the worldwide leader in transforming how people connect, communicate and collaborat...
Hosted PaaS providers have given independent developers and startups huge advantages in efficiency and reduced time-to-market over their more process-bound counterparts in enterprises. Software frameworks are now available that allow enterprise IT departments to provide these same advantages for developers in their own organization. In his workshop session at DevOps Summit, Troy Topnik, ActiveState’s Technical Product Manager, will show how on-prem or cloud-hosted Private PaaS can enable organ...
In today's digital world, change is the one constant. Disruptive innovations like cloud, mobility, social media, and the Internet of Things have reshaped the market and set new standards in customer expectations. To remain competitive, businesses must tap the potential of emerging technologies and markets through the rapid release of new products and services. However, the rigid and siloed structures of traditional IT platforms and processes are slowing them down – resulting in lengthy delivery ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Akana, formerly SOA Software, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo® New York, which will take place June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Akana’s comprehensive suite of API Management, API Security, Integrated SOA Governance, and Cloud Integration solutions helps businesses accelerate digital transformation by securely extending their reach across multiple channels – mobile, cloud and Internet of Thi...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MangoApps will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY., and the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MangoApps provides private all-in-one social intranets allowing workers to securely collaborate from anywhere in the world and from any device. Social, mobile, and eas...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Solgenia will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Solgenia is the global market leader in Cloud Collaboration and Cloud Infrastructure software solutions. Designed to “Bridge the Gap” between Personal and Professional S...
In the midst of the widespread popularity and adoption of cloud computing, it seems like everything is being offered “as a Service” these days: Infrastructure? Check. Platform? You bet. Software? Absolutely. Toaster? It’s only a matter of time. With service providers positioning vastly differing offerings under a generic “cloud” umbrella, it’s all too easy to get confused about what’s actually being offered. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Kevin Hazard, Director of Digital Content for SoftL...
SYS-CON Events announced today Sematext Group, Inc., a Brooklyn-based Performance Monitoring and Log Management solution provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's DevOps Summit 2015 New York, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Sematext is a globally distributed organization that builds innovative Cloud and On Premises solutions for performance monitoring, alerting and anomaly detection (SPM), log management and analytics (Logsene), search analytics (S...