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Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Deployment of foreign software is dangerous - ISPON

First Vice President, Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON) and managing director, Connect Technologies Limited, Chief Chris Uwaje, has said that there is acute danger in allowing the deployment of foreign software applications in key federal government functions.

This is moreso in a situation where the operational domain is hosted in a foreign land.

Speaking on the “Policy issues of software in Nigeria – challenges and impact of foreign brands” at the recently ended one-day summit on Finance and Information Technology (IT) in Lagos, organised by the ICT Africa, he called for the establishment of national software development policy that would encourage inclusion, patronage and protection of indigenous software in the Information Technology (IT) bill.

As said by him, software is the lifeblood of modern technologies, hence it is vital to promote quality standard for local software development, declaring that it’s “a fundamental imperative.”

He pointed out that as part of the strategic framework to enhance local software products and foster its participation in global software project initiatives, there are about seven steps to follow.

Some of these strategic steps he outlined to include standardization of local software, attainment of International Standard Organisation (ISO), establishment of link between the universities and industry, adequate incentives, recognition for small scale developers (SSD), capacity building and packaging.

Chief Uwaje urged all indigenous developers to commence addressing the issue of quality system and standard based on formulated company policy in this regards.

Also, he said that without disregard to other existing standards, local software development outfits should undertake investigative studies on International Standard Organisation (ISO) 9001-2000 with a view of evaluating them against existing approach without necessarily adopting a certification process.

In addition, he noted that by establishing linkage between the universities and the industry in the country, stressing there is need for knowledge and experience sharing amongst developers.

Adequate incentives, he said, should be given to qualified local developers to acquire quality enhancement software development tools and project manuals, while Small Scale Developers should be encouraged to adopt what he described as “Consortium Bid” strategy in their project tender approach as a way of continuously improving quality system.

He added that capacity building is imperative for national IT policy concentration on implementation of software development.

Packaging, he said, must be in conformity with international standard and noted that the need for professionals to focus on specialised areas.

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