INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY: SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT POLICY

3-B
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY: SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT POLICY
Problem Identification:
In both the Departments of Public Works and Recreation Parks there has been a tendency to custom-develop software solutions. The development of custom software solutions is time consuming and expensive. It also leads to quantities of unsupported software as the developers move on to different opportunities.
Recommended Action:
Implement a policy to govern the conditions under which software applications would be custom developed.

Classification:
Cost Savings, Service Improvement

Functional/Operational Area:
Information Technology Board

Estimated Annual Impact:
Cannot be Estimated

Estimated Implementation Costs:
None

Barriers to Implementation:
Bias among IT professionals to custom develop software solutions.

Projected Implementation:
30 days

Next Steps:
Develop guidelines for project review and require projects that exceed baselines to be reviewed by the ITB prior to funding. Require analysis of off-the-shelf packages prior to approval of a custom developed software project.

Analysis:
Commercially available off-the-shelf (COTS) software packages are widely available and represent a less costly alternative to the custom development of software solutions. Additionally, COTS are time-tested and normally have historical performance records that can be reviewed and analyzed to ensure consistency with the purchaser’s needs. When the ITB makes determinations as to the necessity of custom developing a software solution, the following factors should be considered:

– Cost both direct and indirect costs (such as the amount of staff time dedicated to the project);
– Number of users affected by the project;
– Interdepartmental data sharing needs, and
– Compliance with Citywide technology standards.