Author: Bryan Donovan

Why Function Points?

Quantitative software measurement extends significant benefits to IT organizations. Relatively few successful, robust, and mature measurement frameworks have been implemented.Function Pointscontinues to be the “de facto” standard for software measurementaround the world.

“When performance is measured, performance improves” (Galorath, D & Evans, M. 2006)

Control of your software development productivity is probably the most tangible benefit derived from the implementation ofFunction Points. Organizations that can measure their productivity (Hours/Function Point) can establish modelsto benchmark their productivity againstthe rest of the industry(which includes competitors and similar organizations)and their own historical performance. Based on this,they can truly startto develop a competitive advantage by identifying ways to develop software faster and cheaper, without impacting quality and overall end user satisfaction.

The impacts of software measurement extend multiple levels within an organization:

At this first level,development teams and project managers are primarily accountable for project delivery. This requiresthe proper tools and methods to track and control performanceas well as the ability to estimate software deliverables (work packages).The second level of the organization features middle managers. These are typically department or business division managers, PMO directors and portfolio/account managers responsible for multiple projects.Metrics that provide this insight include productivity, cost monitoring and control, performance and efficiency, and overall quality.Finally, CEO level managementneed information to make goodstrategic decisions based oninformation provided by software measurement.Function Points are the underpinning metric that makes all this possible.

At Galorath, we willhelp you to:-Familiarize with the counting practices as officially established by IFPUG (www.ifpug.org)-Learn by using real and relevant examples from your organization-Get on your way to the IFPUG CFPScertification-And most important, bring value to your organization in the form of controlled productivity

About the instructor:

Esteban Sanchez is a Galorath instructor, Certified Function Points Specialist who also serves at the IFPUG Functional Sizing Standards Committee(FSSC Board)

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The impact of COVID-19 on Your Cybersecurity Budget

In response to the pandemic, plenty of organizations had to re-invent themselves or significantly change the way they do business. Many business-as-usual (BAU) operations such as direct customer care, dealing with suppliers and collocated teams arejust not possible during the times of COVID-19. However, the need for information and increased productivity is, as always, on demand. Therefore,organizations had to embrace change and innovate.

According to McKinsey, airlinesrevenue dropped by 40%this year; people just would not share the same air with 200 strangerswhile flying at 10000 feet. Salesforce, Cisco Systems and PayPal cutstaff even after their executives voted not to do so. Some others sent people to work from home, despite the challenges and risks that this represents. Risk is a necessary evil in times of change. Planning, mitigating and acting against these cyber risks is part of the cost of COVID-19.

Understanding the cost of security measures is important for decision making. For example, employees working from home and connecting thru an insecure network representa vulnerability that can result in disclosure, theft,or damage of valuable information. Deployment of Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) an Intrusion Detection Systems (IDSs) can significantly reduce such risks.Any intrusionactivity or violation is reported to the Cybersecurity team or logged in an Event Management System for future analysis. The cost associated with security measures in times of pandemic has two components: The Projecteffort to deploy a security device or softwaresuch as a Firewall or IDS and the Ongoingeffort to analyze network traffic for malicious activity.

The global tendency to work-from-home (WFH) over the past year has increased the threat landscape, leaving organizations with arecurring task to protect staff and information. Cybercrime is expected to becomethe 3rdlargest economy in the worldby 2025, only after US and China. Organizations must carefully plan and budget for cybersecurity measures like:

Threat Analysis: Your Cybersecurity budget must be based on the threats that you face and their economic impact. This Threat Analysis will also help to justify your next year’s cybersecurity budget.

Ongoing Threat Monitoring: a group of cybersecurity experts analyzing network traffic and reports from firewalls, IDSs and other security devices within your organization

Training: In thesetimes of pandemic, people are certainly the most vulnerable channel. Training is required to ensure that people working from home understandhow to protect themselves and the company assets.

Incident Resolution: Plan for how many incidents you expect to receive per month and how much this will cost

Hardware Upgrades: Older laptops and servers withoutdated operating systems and antivirus software may work well behind your firewall, but they will certainly fall short when exposed to a public network

Insurance: Cybercrime is increasing so you can expect your cybersecurity insurance premiums to do exactly the same. Make sure to capture year-over-year growth in the cost of insurance

Security as a Service (SECaaS): If you think all the above is too much and your organization does not have the bandwidth or knowledge to deal with it, consider transferring the responsibility (and risk)to an outside company.That was a quick look at the window to see what iscoming. Let usnow get prepared for it!At Galorathweemploy predictive analytics to help you plan for your next year’s Cybersecurity budget.

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