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By Dennis McCafferty  |  Posted 07-29-2011

The Economics of Choosing Business Software

1 million1 million is the number of instances, on any given day, that U.S. software engineers and tech professionals spend time finding and fixing software bugs.

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Key characteristics of quality software: Fitness of use Satisfaction of user requirements Freedom from defects Ease of learning/use Rapid repairs of any reported defects

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Benefits of high-quality software: Reduced defects and reduced repair costs Reduction of chances for large-system cancellations Abbreviated development schedules and costs Reduced maintenance costs Increased internal/external customer satisfaction

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Seven best practices for choosing software: 1. Acquire tools to extract algorithms and business rules from legacy application source code. Most new apps are replacements for legacy ones, so legacy algorithms/rules are needed for operations requirements.

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Seven best practices for choosing software: 2. Identify and display common generic features used by many similar applications. Three-quarters of features of typical software apps are also used by other applications.

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Seven best practices for choosing software: 3. Define test cases as natural byproducts of requirements analysis. The data-mining tool that extracts missing algorithms and business rules from legacy apps should also define test cases at the same time.

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Seven best practices for choosing software: 4. Command the dynamic aspects of software apps. When it's executing, software has more rapidly moving parts than any other known product.

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Seven best practices for choosing software: 5. Manage the growth of requirements over time. After deployment, software requirements grow 8% a year, resulting in need for multi-year, multi-release strategy.

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Seven best practices for choosing software: 6. Ensure apps operate on a variety of platforms, such as Windows, Linux, Leopard, Android.Modern reality is that apps operate in multiple platforms, available as installed or Web-enabled.

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Seven best practices for choosing software: 7. Make software usable in multiple countries. Language translations, currency exchange rates, local laws/policies are all part of the challenge here.