10 Reasons to invest in software quality

Jan 14, 2013 | CIO Knowledge

When it comes to tight deadlines and budget cuts, project managers tend to make sacrifices on software tests and quality management, given it is not as tangible as functionalities and features. Read in this blog post 10 reasons, why sacrifices on software quality is a dance with the devil that can hit hard on your company.

1. Software errors cost stockbroker $ 440 million in 45 minutes

The newly installed software from a trading company caused a damage of $ 40 million, within 45 minutes after buying and selling large amounts of over a hundred different varieties of stock shares. A faulty software algorithm continuously acquired the shares at market price, and sold them immediately at an offered price; this went to a loss of several cents on every transaction. Due to the increased number of transactions, the prices of the shares went up quickly. For the exchange trader this led to a loss of more than $ 440 million, as these temporarily overvalued stocks had to be sold at a lower price again.

2. A stock exchange had to postpone its public offering

A stock exchange company was forced to cancel its IPO on the in-house trading system. The reason was a blamable computer error that caused a serious technical error on its own trading platform. This occurred immediately, because it was not possible to list the shares in the usual continuous trading routine. This led to a hold on trading before it actually began.

3. Software errors led to obstacles of an IPO of a social media giant

Due to software errors, technology issues also affected the trading of shares of a great social media portal. The system was unable to process orders correctly. This glitch affected trade with not less than 30 million shares.

4. Usability problems in U.S. elections 2012

Computer problems led to widespread complaints from the U.S. Elections 2012, after citizens reported numerous problems with voting machines. An error occurred when using the touch screen. The system automatically changed the candidate selection and disabled to change the candidate again.

5. Software errors of an airline led to stranded travelers

Last year at a U.S. airline a computer error led to chaos among thousands of travelers three times in a row. Flights were delayed partly by hours. A bug in the passenger software led to hundreds of delayed flights. A two-hour system outage delayed 636 of 5679 scheduled flights. Ten flights were canceled completely.

6. Insufficient security personnel at an international sports tournament

Last summer a computer problem caused an incorrect calculation of the required security team for an international event. The wrong shift planning caused that soldiers had to step in as security guards.

7. Tremendous disorder of new U.S. taxation system

After an upgrade of their software systems, which cost a total of over § 1.3 billion, U.S. tax authorities had to contend with serious problems in the tax refund. When processing the applications for reimbursement submitted electronically, there had been considerable delays. 85 percent of the repayments were delayed by 23 days or more.

8. Gambler loses profit to a computer virus

A gambler, who was believed to have won over a million dollars went home almost empty at the end of court, despite his surprise profit from an online game. A software error had shown the winning amount much higher than it was in reality. Because this exceptional case was covered by the terms and conditions of the online game, the player could not gain legal claims on the first displayed gain.

9. Electricity bills were sent too late and incorrect

An Australian energy supplier sent thousands of its customer’s reminders for bills that had not received its due date because of a computer error. Meanwhile, a German utility company pulled in too much money from 94,000 of its customers. The reason was a software error that calculated termination fees without a cause. This cost the utility approximately € 1.7 million in compensation.

10. Leap-year brings payment systems to a halt

A failure in the cloud computing services of a leading multinational company affected both governments and consumers because of the extra day on 29th of February 2012. The same kind of error led to a halt of an Australian health insurance payment system. More than 150.000 patients could not use the payment function of their private health insurance card for two days.

Investments in software quality are necessary

These ten practical examples make it clear why it is blatantly important to invest in software quality. An extremely useful solution in this necessary software quality assurance is seereneTM, which gives managers of software development processes a complete overview of all relevant information of the software development via software maps.

This overview, which also considers risks and code developer activities, is based on the project relevant data from all available sources, which are analyzed in real time using data mining methods. Thanks to the representation as a city model in map form they can then see software risks at a glance and the necessary quality assurance steps to undertake.

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