The Australian Computer Society (ACS) has called on the adoption of software "quality assurance methodologies" to improve Australia's status as an offshoring destination and ensure better risk management practices.
ACS president Edward Mandla also called for the government to make it mandatory that all ICT employees are members of an "appropriate professional association which ensures they are suitably qualified," during a Software Industry Action Group conference in Melbourne.
These employees would also subscribe to a code of ethics and were subject to sanctions for breach of professional standards.
"Australia is a world class software developer, but we face increasing competition from offshore. If we are to remain competitive and secure our place in the global market, we must be able to demonstrate our professional standards and credentials," he said.
Mandla said the government should actively seek to develop software industry capabilities. "We would like to see the government implement a two stage approach to the adoption of process improvement and product testing.
"Firstly, conduct an audit of Australia's small and medium software development firms to determine their needs; identify any impediments to adopting process improvement methodologies, and assess the costs involved. Then apply targeted assistance based on the outcomes of the audit," he said.
The ACS suggested software engineering companies should adopt third party quality assurance process such as ISO 9001:2000; ISO 15504 or Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI).
The ACS claimed that only 15 percent of ICT practitioners in Australia are members of a professional association.