IPA has been focusing its initiatives for improving dependability on two fields. The first is enterprise software, which plays a fundamental role in society. The second is embedded software, which is integrated into automobiles and digital devices. From fiscal 2009, we have newly added integrated software and systems as a domain that functions in cooperation with these two domains as we work to solve various issues.
Enterprise software supports infrastructures that are essential to people’s daily lives, thus enabling enriched and comfortable lifestyles and serving as a crucial component of information and other systems that people can use with a sense of security. Prime examples of enterprise software applications include operational control systems for trains, automated ticket gate systems, expressway electronic toll collection (ETC) systems, airline and hotel reservation systems, online systems at banks, distribution systems and operational systems used by companies. As the scale of enterprise software development increases, clarifying the roles of the acquirer (user) and the supplier (vendor) becomes increasingly crucial. Consequently, it is now essential to “visualize” projects as well as create clear indicators and analyze and evaluate these indicators.
In undertaking initiatives for enterprise software, IPA works to assure the dependability of systems, with emphasis on the following three areas.
We gather empirical data for assuring quality and dependability while building “dependability benchmark systems” and providing these to both users and vendors.
To assure the quality and dependability of information systems, we promote the introduction of methods for “visualization” of the entire software lifecycle and aim to firmly establish quantitative data-based project management and implementation. Additionally, we develop new tools for raising quality and dependability and encourage users and vendors to introduce these tools.
We offer various services including systems development methods in order to efficiently realize high dependability by utilizing new technologies such as software servitization and modularization and sequential iterative development.
Embedded software is built into devices and controls their operation. Such software helps run products that are an integral part of people’s lives, including game devices and portable players, digital cameras, household electronic appliances, automobiles and car navigation systems.
In view of demand for high-performance, multifunctional products in today’s markets, it is no exaggeration to say that embedded software is becoming a crucial element in determining the value of products. Because of its growing importance, reductions in development times, increases in man-hours and chronic understaffing have emerged as the sources of problems for the embedded software industry.
As a consequence, in addition to reductions in development times, increases in man-hours and chronic understaffing, other aspects such as improvement of and assuring dependability have emerged as crucial issues for the embedded software industry.
IPA’s embedded software projects take a forward-looking approach toward solving these issues. While maintaining the international competitiveness of the software industry in Japan, in order to ensure security and reliability, IPA is promoting the improvement of the Embedded System development eXample Reference (ESxR) series and its widespread use as a systematic guide in the embedded engineering field.
Through telecommunication networks, many kinds of software, which used to be classified as “enterprise” or “embedded” are interconnected and required to operate as an essential information system to support social infrastructures and other key aspects of our daily life. In integrated software and system projects, we are planning to develop new methodologies and conduct pilot projects to solve problems arising from these integrated systems and to assure the dependability of such systems.
In working to strengthen development capabilities for embedded software, IPA is formulating and promoting the Embedded Technology Skill Standards (ETSS) as guidelines for the effective development and deployment of human resources. ETSS consists of the three elements of “skill standards,” “career standards” and “training standards.” ETSS maintains consistency through the use of indicators in common with the Skill Standards for IT Professionals (ITSS) and Users’ Information Systems Skill Standards (UISS).