NASA and a coalition of leading global businesses, world-class
software developers and federal agencies led by Carnegie Mellon
University, today announced the formation of the Sustainable
Computing Consortium (SCC). The groundbreaking collaborative is
designed to protect the nation’s computing infrastructure and improve
the reliability of its information technology systems.

This marks the first time that such a broad-based group of
stakeholders has been formed to address issues relating to software
dependability, quality and security. Software defects cost global
business an estimated $175 billion in 2001. With the participation of
top businesses, information technology developers and public policy
experts, the SCC aims to be an essential forum and resource for
matters relating to software development.

“Having worked with Carnegie Mellon on a number of initiatives
relating to software dependability, we are pleased to see the
university take on an initiative of this scope and scale,” said Dr.
Henry McDonald, director, NASA Ames Research Center, in California’s
Silicon Valley. “It is clear that our nation’s computing
infrastructure demands this kind of collaborative initiative,
bringing together major players in business, industry and government
to address these issues.”

The purpose of the SCC is to foster the development of standards and
methodologies to reduce software defects while quantifying and
reducing the risks software flaws pose to the nation’s computing
infrastructure. At the same time, the SCC will bring together global
businesses, software industry leaders and public policy experts to
address technical, legal, economic and policy issues surrounding
sustainable computing. Finally, the SCC will conduct independent
research, provide measurement and design tools, and document best
practices to quantify and improve software quality, dependability and

“The issue of ensuring software quality and security is one of the
most important technical and public policy issues facing the nation
and the world,” said Jeffrey Hunker, dean of Carnegie Mellon’s H.
John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management. “The mission
of the SCC and its members will be to drive new developments in
information technology and to produce ground-breaking research on
software economics, risk management, auditing and liability.”

The SCC will leverage nearly $30 million in research grants and
membership commitments. Founding SCC members include: AIG, Alcoa,
Caterpillar, Cisco, CMP Media LLC, Confluence, General Atlantic
Partners, Mellon Financial Corp., Merck, Microsoft, NASA, Oracle,
Pfizer, Raytheon, RedSiren Technologies, Reed Smith, Tata Consultancy
Services, and the UPMC Health System. In addition, Carnegie Mellon’s
two-year-old High Dependability Computing Consortium, which includes
15 software industry companies and NASA, will form a High
Dependability Working Group within the SCC.

“Carnegie Mellon has long been a leader in technology innovation,”
said James H. Morris, dean of Carnegie Mellon’s School of Computer
Science. “As we have continued our research on computer software
standards and dependability, it has become clear that a host of
technical, business, social and public policy issues must be
confronted in order to achieve our goals. Carnegie Mellon has a
singular breadth of multidisciplinary expertise to apply to these
problems, and we are excited to work with this broad range of
industry, business and government leaders to help develop solutions.”

An InformationWeek survey of IT professionals released today
indicated that 89 percent of organizations that use IT have
experienced software defects resulting in higher costs or lost
revenue. Some 62 percent of respondents said the software industry
was doing an unsatisfactory job of ensuring that commercial software
is bug-free.

“We live in an increasingly interconnected world, where technology
plays a significant
role in our lives,” said Scott Charney, chief security strategist for
Microsoft Corp. “As a
result, it is imperative that we be able to depend on that technology
to be consistently
reliable and resilient. The creation of the Sustainable Computing
Consortium is an important and valuable step toward achieving that
goal and I applaud Carnegie Mellon for its leadership on this issue.”

“We live in a digital world,” said SCC Director William Guttman,
distinguished service professor of economics and technology at
Carnegie Mellon’s Heinz School. “It is a world of staggering
complexity and scale, in which software plays an increasingly vital
role in our daily lives. It is critical that business, industry,
technology and public policy experts come together now to ensure that
software meets the standards of quality, dependability and security
that our modern world requires.”

Co-directors of the SCC include: William L. Scherlis, principal
research scientist at the Institute for Software Research
International (ISRI), a division of Carnegie Mellon’s School of
Computer Science; and Ashish Arora, associate professor of economics
and public policy at the Heinz School. The SCC will leverage
resources at several existing Carnegie Mellon research entities,
including the Software Industry Center at the Heinz School, funded by
the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation; the High Dependability Computing
Program (HDCP) in the School of Computer Science, funded by NASA; the
Software Engineering Institute, home to the federally funded Computer
Emergency Response Team (CERT) Coordination Center; and the ISRI,
which houses the Information Technology Services Qualification Center
(ITSQC), a source of standards for rating outsourcing firms.

For more information about the Sustainable Computing Consortium,
visit their web site at: