Software Control And Maintenance

Software Control And Maintenance

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Software Control and Maintenance
The importance of managing change in information technology (IT) environments has grown significantly in the last few years. This shift is having a major impact on mid-sized businesses, which needs to increase their focus on compliance and initiatives centered on control, security and documentation. The challenge for change management today focuses on organizational and technological maturity. Most IT shops have been busy building out their technology infrastructure while fighting fires. Today, more IT organizations are realizing the reasons why change management warrants the time and investment required to meet accountability needs.
Software Change Management (SCM) is the process of handling changes correctly and efficiently, with minimum impact while following the organization's business objectives and priorities. Correctly managing the change process is defined as; documenting the request, analyzing technical and business impacts and risks, gaining approval from stakeholders, scheduling and managing the change workflow, and reviewing the change tasks. The change management process in and of itself must also be tuned for operational efficiency assessing the types of changes that are being requested across the organization, the speed with which changes are made, or the number of changes that must be reversed.
The costs of inadequate SCM are significant; Enterprise Management Associates estimates that 70% or more of all performance and availability errors alone are due to accidental configuration errors, caused by individuals within the organization. The true cost of not managing change is the impact it has on IT service quality. Impacts include:
• Inefficient and lengthy approval processing
• Lack of appropriate assessment and review, resulting in change failures
• Catastrophic lack of back-out plans
• Uninformed and angry end users and business managers
• Incomplete tracking of costs, changes, and time spent implementing changes
Investing in SCM is a necessary step for any business that relies on development in an IT environment. For the McBride Financial Services environment it is recommended that two software packages are considered to control their SCM.
IBM Rational ClearCase provides management and control of software development assets, allows integration into the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) at design, development, build, test and deployment phases of a projects. Productivity can be gained through version control allowing automated workspace management, branching and parallel development support, software baseline management, and build and release management.
IBM Rational ClearQuest automates and enforces the development processes during the SDLC by providing traceability from requirements to production, managing defect and requirement change tracking and integrating communications between all teams including design, development, testing, deployment and stakeholders.

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Both IBM Rational ClearQuest, ClearCase have local, remote and Web interfaces enabling secure access to either product virtually anytime or anywhere. These products support development and work on Microsoft Windows, Linux, Unix or OS/2. Figure 1 outlines the IBM pricing of each product, including support.
IBM Rational ClearCase with 12 month SW Maintenance $4125
IBM Rational ClearQuest with 12 month SW Maintenance $1620
Figure 1.
Installing IBM Rational ClearQuest, ClearCase SCM tools the IT department and the stakeholders will receive the following benefits:
• Task orientation keeps developers focused on functionality, not files.
Requirements and defects are defined as change requests; these change requests are broken down into tasks and assigned to developers for implementation. User activities are then managed in terms of these tasks rather than in terms of changes to software artifacts.
• Traceability provides the business with better visibility into IT.
In addition to defining changes in terms of tasks, This SCM solutions also enables IT departments to link these tasks with other development assets like requirements, defects, and test cases. This enables audit tracking to determine why changes were implemented and to verify that a particular release includes specific changes.
• Processes can be defined in terms of recognizable events.
The SCM solutions makes it significantly easier for IT departments to define processes in terms of events like "assign task," "request peer code review," or "approve release for production" — recognizable as human tasks and meaningful at the business level.
• Process management and versioning and configuration management capabilities.
SCM has two spheres of concern: software configuration management and software change management. A solution that lacks pure change management capabilities is a base SCM tool and does not enable task orientation, traceability, or process automation. A solution that lacks core versioning and configuration management capabilities is just a workflow engine; end users often resist such solutions because they lack the productivity-enhancing features.
• Support for multiple platforms and support for development across platforms.
Standardizing on a single solution enables asset reuse, service-oriented architecture, and cross-platform development. This becomes significantly easier for development organizations to use a single solution to standardize their development processes, collect consistent metrics, and gain real visibility into the relative health of various projects.
• Scalability in terms of users, locations, and total size of assets managed.
The benefits of standardizing on a single SCM solution are significant, and the costs of switching solutions are high, with initial implementation times ranging from a few months to a few years. Customers cannot afford to adopt SCM solutions only to outgrow them within a few years. IBM Rational SCM solutions have proven scalability in terms of number of users, number of development sites, and total size of assets managed.
In conclusion, the benefits of installing a scaleable, multi-platform SCM product will enhance development time, reduce defects and increase the control, security and documentation of all new software products developed at McBride Financial Services.


Enterprise Management Associates, Twenty Hot Markets for 2007 and the Cool Technologies That Will Make Then Real. March 2006, retrieved July 20th 2006 from

IBM, ClearQuest, ClearCase, July 2006, retrieved July 20th 2006 from
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