Date: 27 November 2003
Subject: Who needs Standards anyway?
Speaker: David Cairns (Level 5 Technologies)
The British Computer Society Jersey sub-branch held its second event on Thursday 27 November at Highlands College. About 20 Information and Communications Technology (ICT) professionals from a wide range of local business areas received a presentation by David M Cairns (Level 5 Technologies).
David Cairns is an accredited TickIT Assessor and IT consultant with significant experience in implementing standards in a range of business environments. He summarised the benefits for four key standards: TickIT (software engineering); ITIL (IT infrastructure library); CMM (Capability Maturity Model) and BS7799 (the British Standard for information security management).
Standards can be implemented within relatively short timescales and will help manage risk and quality to achieve business goals more effectively. Implementing standards is sometimes difficult because staff often regarded them as an overhead until they became accepted as part of the culture – it is therefore important to make following standards more attractive than the alternatives! Standards should not stifle creativity, but support business goals.
As an example, the UK government was heavily promoting the adoption of the security standard BS7799 in both government departments and their supplier. The result of this will be improved public confidence in service delivered using electronic channels such as digital TV, mobile phones and the internet.
During the question and answer session the audience were reassured that implementing standards should not increase staffing levels but would improve quality of service. The speaker confirmed from direct experience that standards were equally applicable to both leading edge technology projects and those using involving more traditional IT systems.
This event was brought to you with the help of Highlands College.