The use of ISO standards is beneficial to any company. It positively influences its image in the market, as it allows for more efficient implementation of business processes and contributes to ensuring the high quality of products or services. ISO standards are also applied during application development activities. What standards do they apply to and why is it worth relying on them during software development? Answers in the article.

What is the ISO?

ISO comes from the Greek word isos, which means ’equal’. This refers to the activities carried out by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO). It was founded in 1947 and is based in Geneva. It is a non-governmental organisation that brings together national standards associations, including the Polish Committee for Standardisation (PKN).

The main objectives of the ISO are to issue standards that:

  • lay down principles and practices in various fields of human activity,
  • are developed by independent experts,
  • are collections of good practices, the implementation of which allows companies to improve their operations and facilitate the management of their employees,
  • are universal in nature, so they can be effectively applied by different types of organisations, regardless of their size or the sector in which they operate,
  • are continually updated, usually every 3-5 years, so that they can be adapted to changing economic realities.

The implementation of ISO standards is voluntary. However, many companies choose to do so because of such guidelines:

  • facilitate action planning,
  • improve work efficiency,
  • enable rapid response to changes in the environment.

This has a positive impact on the company’s development. In addition, its implementation of ISO standards is a signal to customers that it provides high-quality services and places emphasis on continuous improvement. The result is an improved image of the company in the market and a wider interest in its offerings. At CosmicWeb, we also appreciate the importance of ISO, which is why we offer our clients applications that comply with such standards.

Why is ISO used in software?

ISO standards within software engineering are used to:

  • design high-quality products that are in line with market requirements and customer needs – mobile or web applications should be functional and responsive,
  • organise the circulation of documents connected with the development of software, which influences the faster flow of information between particular departments,
  • facilitate the implementation of individual business processes, including through their optimisation and the provision of an appropriate performance measurement system,
  • manage employees effectively and ensure that the team includes appropriately qualified people.

The main objective of ISO during application development is to create a set of procedures that allow the best quality IT solutions to be built. Related to this is the need for oversight of individual processes so that problems can be quickly diagnosed and remedial action taken. It is worth noting that the cost of eliminating a bug in the software testing phase is on average 10 times higher than if it is eliminated at the analysis and design stage. Expenditure increases by up to 100 times when such a bug is noticed only during the operation of the application.

The use of ISO standards when building IT systems generates numerous usability, economic and image benefits. Ultimately, it leads to the creation of applications that meet all customer requirements and stand out from the competition. This is exactly what we do at CosmicWeb.

How to obtain ISO certification?

This is not easy. First, it is necessary to identify which standards apply to the company in question (access to the relevant information is possible via the PKN portal, as well as the official ISO shop), and then to align its operations with these standards. This often requires:

  • change the organisational structure,
  • hiring new staff,
  • designing specific procedures from scratch.

In order to bring your company in line with ISO requirements, it is worth carrying out an internal audit to identify which areas of your business need to change. This process can be carried out either by yourself or with the help of a specialized company.

The next stage is the certification audit. This is carried out by one of the independent bodies – it must be accredited by the PCA, the Polish Centre for Accreditation. If the audit confirms compliance with ISO standards, a certificate is issued. At CosmicWeb, we assist our clients in obtaining it.

ISO 9000 standards – basic standards when building applications

There are currently more than 20,000 ISO standards, but only a few are used by IT companies. This includes standards from the ISO 9000 group, which deal with quality management.

ISO 9000 contains good practices for implementing, improving and controlling a quality management system. The main principles include:

  • customer orientation – this manifests itself in an understanding of the customer’s needs, as well as working closely with the customer during the construction of the application,
  • leadership based on a leader who promotes open communication, sets measurable goals and ensures an effective flow of information,
  • a process approach in which close coordination between the various departments is key,
  • continuous improvement – this is based on the results of audits or data analyses that provide measurable indicators,
  • employee involvement – the focus here is on increasing the effectiveness of the work performed by employees and improving their level of motivation to perform their daily duties,
  • building strong relationships with all business partners, such as technology providers.

All such principles are followed by the CosmicWeb team when building applications. Thanks to this, the software created by us allows our clients to gain a competitive advantage on the market and constantly increase the number of recipients of our products and services.

Which ISO standards are most commonly used when building software?

This applies to many of the standards in the ISO 9000 group, including but not limited to:

  • ISO 9001 – contains requirements for IT systems, the completion of which is a testament to a company’s ability to continually deliver applications that meet the needs of its customers,
  • ISO 9004 – is an extension of ISO 9001, which provides guidance on improving the quality management system, which includes, among other things, continuously identifying its strengths and weaknesses and implementing improvements,
  • ISO 9041 – addresses, among other things, the linking of open systems and virtual terminals,
  • ISO 9075 – relates to database languages, including SQL.

Software development activities can be based on yet other standards. These include:

ISO 12207 – refers to the software life cycle and the relationships between the various processes that occur during its course,
ISO 14598 – concerns software quality evaluation, including documentation of the process,
ISO 25010 – It replaced ISO 9126; it contains a software quality model and sets out guidelines for building applications that are based on the functionality, reliability, usability or performance of IT systems.

The ISO certificate is a confirmation that a mobile or web application meets quality requirements, which contributes to building positive relations with contractors and achieving business goals by the company for which the application was made. At CosmicWeb, we are aware of this, which is why we offer our clients assistance in obtaining the relevant ISO standards for the technological solutions we create.