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10/13/2015  |   3:15 PM - 4:00 PM   |  Atlantic II

Achieving Better Buying Power through Acquisition of Open Architecture Software Systems for Web and Mobile Devices

Many people within large enterprises rely on up to four Web-based or mobile devices for their daily work routines—personal computer, tablet, personal and work-specific smartphones. Our research is directed at identifying, tracking, and analyzing software component costs and cost reduction opportunities within acquisition life cycle of open architecture (OA) systems for such Web-based and mobile devices. Our research goal is to create a new approach to address challenges in the acquisition of software systems for Web-based or mobile devices used within academic, business, or government enterprises. We seek to make this a simpler, more transparent, and more tractable process. Our research objective is to develop new ways and means for identifying, tracking, and analyzing the costs and other better buying opportunities associated with the acquisition life cycle of OA software systems for Web-based or mobile devices. OA system software elements can include either open source software (OSS) or proprietary closed-source software (CSS) components subject to different IP licenses and cybersecurity constraints. Such components may be configured into different, functionally similar versions that allow for common but costly CSS components to be replaced by their OSS counterparts, as a strategy to reduce software acquisition costs. Such replacement or substitution may arise at different stages of system acquisition including system design, integration, deployment, and evolution. But it is unclear what happens when the OA software components are widgets, apps, or mashups that arise from multi-party engineering efforts in heterogeneous software producer ecosystems, where end-users (or their home enterprise) are expected to serve as system integrators. The goal of this presentation is to address challenges in the acquisition of OA software systems. Acquisition personnel in all enterprises will increasingly be called on to review and approve choices between functionally similar low or no cost OSS components, and commercially priced CSS components, to be used in the design, implementation, deployment, and evolution of secure OA systems. We seek to make this a simpler, more transparent, and more tractable process. Such a process must identify, track, and analyze Web-based and mobile device software component costs throughout the system life cycle, and be easy to reuse for different system application domains, in order to realize cost reductions and improve acquisition workforce capabilities. Our recent research demonstrates how complex OA systems can be designed, built, and deployed with alternative components and connectors resulting in functionally similar system versions, to satisfy overall system security requirements and individual system component intellectual property (IP) and cybersecurity requirements, as well as surfacing new challenges for achieving better buying power that can decrease (or increase) software acquisition costs. In particular, this presentation and paper focuses on identifying, tracking, and analyzing software acquisition and development practices associated with different types of Web-based and mobile software components including widgets, apps, and mashups. This allows us to identify specific opportunities to realize cost reduction and improve acquisition buying power. These results are applicable to most academic, business, or government enterprises that deploy complex information systems built on open architectures that incorporate Web-based and mobile devices.

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Walt Scacchi (Primary Presenter), Institute for Software Research, wscacchi@ics.uci.edu;
Walt Scacchi is senior research scientist and research faculty member in the Institute for Software Research, and also Director of Research at the Institute for Virtual Environments and Computer Games, both at University of California, Irvine. He received a Ph.D. in Information and Computer Science at UC Irvine in 1981. From 1981-1998, he was a professor at the University of Southern California. Dr. Scacchi returned to UC Irvine in 1999. His research interests include open source software development, computer game culture and technology, virtual worlds for modeling and simulating complex engineering and business processes, and software acquisition. Dr. Scacchi is an active researcher with more than 170 research publications, and has directed more than 65 externally funded research projects. He also has had numerous consulting and visiting scientist positions with more than 25 firms or institutes, including five start-up ventures. He served as General Co-Chair for the 8th. Intern. Conference on Open Source Systems in 2012, Co-Chair of the 4th. Games and Software Engineering Workshop at the 2015 Intern. Conf. On Software Engineering, and ICS Distinguished Alumnus of 2012. His recent activities and research publications can be found at http://www.ics.uci.edu/~wscacchi

2013 Sponsors: IEEE and IEEE Computer Society