How ASL 2 helps you conform to ISO 16350

Title/current version: How ASL 2 helps you conform to ISO 16350
ISO/IEC 16350:2015
ASL® 2 – the Application Services Library

The basics  

ISO/IEC 16350:2015 is a prescriptive standard for application management, whether performed internally or externally with respect to the organization that uses the applications.

ASL® 2 is a descriptive framework and collection of best practices for application management. Organizations can use ASL 2 guidance to help them get their application management activities in conformance with ISO 16350 requirements.

Summary

Surprisingly, given that 40% of IT budgets are spent on support, maintenance and renewal of applications, there wasn’t a guiding international standard for application management. There is ISO 38500 for governance of IT, ISO 20000 for IT service management,  ISO 31000 for risk management, and ISO 27000 for security management, but nothing to assure the quality of the processes that ensure that the business’ applications are up and running, up to date and under control. But in August 2015, ISO launched ISO/IEC 16350:2015. According to ISO, the new standard “establishes a common framework for application management processes with well-defined terminology that can be referenced by the software industry. It contains processes, activities, and tasks that apply during the stage of operation and use from the point of view of the supplier organization that enhances, maintains, and renews the application software and the software-related products such as data-structures, architecture, designs, and other documentation. It applies to the supply, maintenance, and renewal of applications, whether performed internally or externally with respect to the organization that uses the applications.”

The ISO standard was clearly inspired by ASL 2 and although some of the process names differ, the structure is the same. ASL’s precursor, R2C, was conceived in the mid-nineties at the Dutch Computer Centre (RCC). ASL was published in 2000, with an update to ASL 2 in 2009. ASL 2 differs from ISO 16350 in as much as it provide guidance how to improve the quality of application management processes, while the ISO standard provides requirements with which the application management processes should comply. ASL 2 is owned and distributed by the non-profit ASL BiSL Foundation.

ISO 16350 offers three options for conformance:

  1. Full conformance to outcomes for a declared set of processes
  2. Full conformance to tasks for a declared set of processes
  3. Tailored conformance to tailored outcomes, activities and tasks for a declared set of processes

Because option 1 does not prescribe how the outcomes are achieved, this also accommodates more fluid approaches such as Agile and DevOps.

Target audience

Both ISO/IEC 16350:2015 and ASL 2 are intended to be used by internal application management departments, external application outsourcing service providers, commercial off the shelf application providers, and software as a service providers.

Within these organisations, the standard and framework is of primary interest to directors, managers, quality managers, process improvement consultants, and any others who are concerned with achieving and demonstrating high quality application management services.

Scope and constraints

Both ISO/IEC 16350:2015 and ASL 2 describe processes, activities, and tasks that apply during the stage of operation and use from the point of view of the supplier organization that enhances, maintains, and renews the application software and the software-related products such as data-structures, architecture, designs, and other documentation. It applies to the supply, maintenance, and renewal of applications, whether performed internally or externally with respect to the organization that uses the applications.

While ISO/IEC 16350:2015 is a prescriptive standard, ASL 2 is a descriptive framework and collection of best practices. As such they are complementary.

9789087533137Title: ASL® 2 – A Framework for Application Management
Author: Remko van der Pols
ISBN: 9789087533137
Price: € 39,95

Relevant websites

www.iso.org

www.aslbislfoundation.org

 

Application Services Library ASL® is a registered trademark of ASL BiSL Foundation®