4 Things Your Software Company Needs to Maintain Compliance with Industry Standards

Industry standards exist to ensure end products are consistent in terms of quality, functionality, and security. Technical standards exist for everything from project management to back-end application security.

Does your software company adhere to all appropriate standards? If not, you might be out of compliance with data privacy laws and other regulations. Here’s what your company needs to ensure you meet all compliance requirements.

1. Access to all applicable software development standards

Do you have access to all relevant industry standards for software development? Maybe you’ve switched over to SCRUM and DevSecOps. That’s great, but did you know there are also ISO standards that apply to specific software projects?

Many standards applicable to software development can be found in iTeh’s online image technologies standards catalog, including standards for specialized projects. For example, ISO/TR 22957:2018 provides guidelines for designing enterprise content management systems. This standard would be applicable to those developing content management systems at the enterprise level (think WordPress and Joomla).

If you include OCR features in your software applications, you also need to adhere to ISO/TS 19475-1:2018, which sets standards for “maintaining the authenticity, integrity and readability of documents during capture processes.”

If you’re not sure which standards apply to your software development projects, it’s worth consulting with an expert. While some of the standards aren’t legal requirements, adhering to standards benefits the entire industry, including the consumer. Adhering to standards also reduces the risk of lawsuits over poorly crafted software.

2. A policy to enforce adherence to technical standards

Having access to the appropriate standards is just the beginning. You also need a policy to enforce adherence to applicable standards.

Once you know which standards apply to a project, you need your team leader to oversee its implementation into the project. However you include standards is up to you, but adherence needs to be part of your development process.

3. Access to an attorney

Gone are the days when people could do business without having an attorney available. Today’s consumers are quick to sue software developers who don’t deliver software as promised or expected. For example, Hertz sued their developers for $32 million for postponing the project and delivering a non-functional, unsecure, unfinished product.

Hertz isn’t the only company to sue developers. Software companies get sued regularly and many legal incidents can be prevented by consulting an attorney over contractual agreements.

There are five main reasons developers get sued:

  • Security vulnerabilities
  • Human error
  • Miscommunications
  • Breach of contract
  • Intellectual property (IP) infringement

While an attorney can’t give you advice on how to secure your software application, they can help you create an iron-clad contract. That contract can include a strong clause requiring the client to accept a certain amount of responsibility for late projects.

An IP lawyer can help you understand copyright and trademark law so you don’t accidentally break any laws by using someone else’s intellectual property.

Don’t wait until you get sued to find an attorney. Hire an attorney from the start to help frame your company’s legal foundation.

4. High-level project planning skills

Maintaining compliance with industry standards requires high-level project planning skills. Software development is a team effort and it takes a high level of organizational skills to keep a project on track and compliant.

At various points throughout the development process, it’s easy for developers to ignore standards and take shortcuts and that’s not good for business. Shortcuts are usually taken when the client pressures the team to deliver an application before it’s ready. Caving to antsy clients is never a good idea. It will hurt you and your team in the end.

Set clear expectations with each client from the beginning. Provide a realistic delivery timeline with plenty of extra space for breakdowns. Most clients don’t understand the development process and have no idea what’s involved. Communicate your timeline to the client and make sure they understand that you don’t cut corners.

Explain this in terms of how shortcuts will affect their end product. For example, let the client know cutting corners can make code hard to duplicate if they want to expand in the future, and cutting security corners can open them up for a data breach lawsuit. Also, don’t skip QAOps – test early and often.

Standards exist to help developers

Standardizing every aspect of the development process might sound tedious, but it’s actually beneficial to the industry. When your development team adheres to professional standards, you’re less likely to get into legal trouble and more likely to produce a high-quality end product.