Software Process Improvement A European View
Enterprises in all developed sectors of the economy — not just the IT sector — are increasingly dependent on quality software-based IT systems. Such systems support management, production, and service functions in diverse organisations. Furthermore, the products and services now offered by the non-IT sectors, e.g., the automotive industry or the consumer electronics industry, increasingly contain a component of sophisticated software. For example, televisions require in excess of half a Megabyte of software code to provide the wide variety of functions we have come to expect from a domestic appliance. Similarly, the planning and execution of a cutting pattern in the garment industry is accomplished under software control, as are many safety-critical functions in the control of, e.g., aeroplanes, elevators, trains, and electricity generating plants. Today, approximately 70% of all software developed in Europe is developed in the non-IT sectors of the economy. This makes software a technological topic of considerable significance. As the information age develops, software will become even more pervasive and transparent. Consequently, the ability to produce software efficiently, effectively, and with consistently high quality will become increasingly important for all industries across Europe if they are to maintain and enhance their competitiveness.
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