David Saul, Senior Vice President and Chief Scientist of State Street, the chair of the Cloud Standards Customer Council’s (CSCC) Financial Services working group and an all-around nice fellow, invited me to Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, People’s Republic of China last month (does anybody know of another bank that has a “Chief Scientist”? – State Street is an interesting bank). Those of you who know me know I’m not too good at turning down a trip to a place I’d never been before, even a “small city” like Hangzhou (with “only” 8,000,000 inhabitants, the Chinese consider Hangzhou small). The invitation was to keynote the 11th International Conference on Information Technology for Financial Services (ICITFS), organized by the Zhejiang Provincial Government and State Street. I have to say, it was a fascinating event, ranging from discussions with high-level officials on the future of retirement pensions in China and elsewhere, to improving business processes and innovation, to improving software quality and processor utilization. My keynote address, “Two Faces of Financial Services Standardization,” introduced OMG (of course) and focused on the FIBO semantics work being carried out by the Financial Services Task Force as well as the software quality project being carried out by CISQ. I also had the opportunity to chair the closing keynote panel focused on innovation – a key success path in the financial services arena. Cloud computing came up of course, but so did the problems of managing incentives, recognition and integration of innovation.
It was great to have the opportunity to speak with this diverse group, which included financial institutions, university students & professors as well as government officials, about the standards work OMG does that benefits organizations around the world. Our FIBO standards joint effort with the EDM Council, for example, is designed to make it easier to report derivatives trading information to regulators in many countries, to enable trade surveillance that will warn of upcoming bubbles like the market crisis of 2008. I also had the opportunity to talk about our CISQ program. The Consortium for IT Software Quality (CISQ) project was launched just two years ago as a joint project of OMG and Carnegie Mellon University’s Software Engineering Institute (SEI). Please see my previous blog entry for plenty of information about CISQ and software quality.
Software quality is obviously a big concern for companies that outsource development work to organizations in China. And just as obvious, the outsourcers themselves need to be concerned about meeting their customers’ quality expectations, and differentiating their offerings with clear, objective, automatically-derived quality metrics. CISQ’s efforts, along with OMG’s established Structured Metrics Metamodel, make it possible to make software quality measurable, something all organizations will benefit from. The first set of metrics are due to be delivered next month, don’t miss the opportunity to participate at the Santa Clara, California, U.S.A. meeting in December 2011.
And as you think over how you can contribute to, or get value from, automatic, objective, repeatable and easy-to-use software quality metrics, you can see some pictures from the burgeoning city of Hangzhou. The perpetual haze mars the view a little bit from atop some of the great downtown hotels:
Nearer to the lake the magnificent scenery blankets the hills, where I spent a couple of hours with old & new friends over Hangzhou’s rightfully famous, delicious green longjing (West Lake Dragon Well) tea.