15 December 2023
How to consult in the post-coronavirus reality?
2 min read
Written by: Luc Brandts
How to consult in the post-coronavirus reality? To answer this challenging question, let me first go back 20 years when a few scientists from the Amsterdam Centre of Mathematics and Informatics wanted to do something to solve the millennium bug. For this, they needed software that scans software code to look for clues on where to find the place where the bug was hiding.
Now fast forward 20 years, and Software Improvement Group is analyzing several hundred million lines of code every week for almost 300 different technologies (288 at last count, to be exact). This has led to a database of more than 33 billion lines of code that is used every year to benchmark software quality. The benchmarking process is uniquely ISO 25010 certified by TüV-IT as the only software quality laboratory in the world. Being possibly the world’s largest software analysis database, it provides the best possible view on software quality. How cool is that? Who would have thought something so good would have come out of the millennium bug?
The challenge with software quality is that it’s not just about collecting a bunch of metrics. It requires deep understanding of the business and interpretation. I’ve written about that here on the blog before. That’s why we call what we do Software Assurance with a Service. This means there’s both a technology and a service part to it. We strongly believe in this combination in order to best serve our demanding client base:
- Technology, because we’re not reading hundreds of millions of lines of code by ourselves every week. Nor are we manually calculating all metrics, finding all anti-patterns and anomalies. Technology helps, of course.
- Services, because we automate our advice and put it into Sigrid, our software assurance platform, where and when we can. But the reality is, our clients need advice on scenarios and decision making.
Everything we do is inherently scalable and technology driven, so when we got struck by the biggest stress test imaginable with COVID-19, we were able to smoothly transition to a 100% online company. Of course, at a personal level, this was and continues to be a big challenge. This is why we’ve made it very clear to our team: Family first, SIG second. I cannot stress this enough. It’s a topic in and of itself, but I’ll write about that another time. From a business perspective, things have been very smooth: services have continued as before (albeit remotely, obviously).
When speaking with an analyst firm last year, we got the advice to either become a services firm or a software company. They firmly stated it would be impossible to combine the two. Well, in the 21st century, and especially in post-coronavirus 2020, this isn’t good advice. We stopped making use of their services.
Services need to be technology driven, and this means far more than meeting online.
For now, despite the circumstances, we’re celebrating our company’s 20th anniversary and are looking very forward to the next 20 years.
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