Photo - Mastura Abu Samah. President, Malaysia Software Testing Board (MSTB).
A recent meeting in Kuala Lumpur between the Malaysian Software Testing Board [MSTB] and the Korean Testing Laboratory [KTL] has resulted in a move to boost the quality of software products through software certification marks.
MSTB president Mastura Abu Samah said the two-day Certification Decision Seminar, which was a platform to gather and exchange ideas and experience in software testing, included facilitators Cho Won-Jun, the director of Software Evaluation Centre, Korea Testing Laboratory (KTL), and Dr Lee Soo-Yeon, chairman of Certification Committee of KTL's Good Software (GS) marks. "GS is Korea's national software certification scheme and KTL is one of the Certification Bodies for the scheme."
"Malaysian software players must emphasise on the quality of their products if they were to remain relevant in the market. With quality, they can even prosper in the more lucrative global arena," said Mastura.
"In fact, as market globalisation continues, Malaysian companies will have no choice but bring themselves up to the international level to survive. Having quality products will no longer be optional," she said.
"Having a national quality software certification scheme such as the QS would help inculcate the quality culture among Malaysian software companies and in turn, this will help grow Malaysia's software industry. This has been proven by South Korea," said Mastura.
Based on reported figures for 2011, Korea's domestic market for software was estimated to be worth US$5.9 billion while its software export was estimated to be worth US$18 billion. In 2001 the country's software expenditures were reported to be worth US$1.47 billion while the export was only US$290 million.
Korea introduced its Good Software (GS) certification scheme in 2001 and it has proven to be an effective form of 'intervention' to seed rapid improvement in the quality of Korean-made software. Coupled with supporting policies set and practiced by the government, the GS scheme has been cited to be a contributor that helped grow the country's software industry.
Software certification scheme
Mastura said MSTB started to develop the software quality certification scheme based on international standards in 2010, and MSTB was now preparing to rollout the scheme - the Quality Software Product Certification (QS).
She said that Malaysian software manufacturers and sellers could leverage on QS certification as an independent and Quality Assurance based on ISO standards for their products.
"QS certification would also enhance market competitiveness of made-in-Malaysia software in domestic and international markets," said Mastura "In addition, having a good quality products enable them to have better returns through reduction in costs of maintenance of the products as well as to manage and rectify after-sale customer issues related to poor quality,"
"We hope to emulate the success of South Korea in propagating growth of its software industry through institutionalisation of quality certification scheme for software," she said, adding that the collaboration between MSTB and KTL would also move to a government-level mutual recognition of the QS and GS schemes.
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