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Comprehensive System Evaluation: Why Your Custom Software Might Need It

What is a Comprehensive System Evaluation?

Today, there’s not a single business that isn’t impacted by software in some way or another. It has revolutionized the way businesses operate, significantly contributing to their growth and success. If you own a business or intend to buy a business with software assets that aren’t purchased off the shelf, there may come a time when an independent and comprehensive system evaluation will be necessary.

What is a comprehensive system evaluation?

A Comprehensive System Evaluation is an in-depth assessment of a software application or system. The evaluation thoroughly analyzes important aspects of the application, including its architecture, security, performance, scalability, and compliance with applicable industry standards.

When is a system evaluation needed?

Most often, an evaluation is needed when ownership of a business is changing, market conditions and/or operational processes need to change, or the relationship(s) with the associated vendor(s) of the software have changed or are not going well. Additionally, projects to produce custom software can stall or otherwise be on the road to failure.

If you have existing technology that is not working or meeting the needs of your business, the first step is conducting a system evaluation to get your software assets back on track.

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What is the process for a system evaluation?

With your help, our consultants will gather the available artifacts associated with your software. These may include:

  • source code
  • source code history
  • existing diagrams
  • infrastructure/environments
  • other documentation
  • interviews with those involved, when possible

In our experience, most software systems don’t have an ideal set of associated artifacts, so don’t worry if you don’t have the source code or anything beyond the source code. While access to complete software system artifacts is ideal, our team is able to provide a thorough evaluation with the information that is available.

With the available artifacts, we will:

  • Build a full view of the architecture, including (re)building architectural diagrams in a consistent notation.
  • Examine key code quality and maintainability attributes.
  • Build a prioritized list of issues, risks, and needed improvements, along with recommended paths to success.
  • Gain an understanding of how ideas, features, and defects move into code and get in front of users.
  • Assess the developer experience working with your system(s), such as how easy it is for a developer to get set up and productive.
  • Determine if basic security measures are in place.
  • Gain an understanding of how code is delivered to users by examining DevOps approaches, including assessing continuous integration and continuous delivery tools and practices, as well as infrastructure management maturity.

During the evaluation, we will also look at the user experience and identify any areas that may be causing frustration or confusion for the application’s users.

Make Your Software Work for You

The system evaluation provides an independent view of software assets – what needs to change, what can/should stay the same, and tangible ways it can be improved where necessary. The primary objective of the system evaluation is to equip you with a clear understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of your software system. Additionally, our team will recommend specific, actionable improvements to build a reliable software system, ultimately contributing to the growth and success of your business.

Our team has a wealth of experience in conducting system evaluations. We can help you identify and address any issues holding your application back. With a collaborative approach, we will work closely with your team to ensure the evaluation is tailored to your specific needs and aligns with your business goals.

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