|Tips & Tricks.|
For some years now, we have been presenting the status of CMMI around the world, as this quality model is a good indicator of the overall health of the global IT industry. Previously, we explained its origin, and described its different constellations and logic behind their inclusion in this study. For clarity, we present a brief summary justifying its history and importance:
CMMI in the world
On September 10, 2015, there were 5014 active CMMI appraisals, from levels L2 to L5, spread over 83 countries worldwide. This amounted to an increase of 8% with regard to the certificates recorded on the previous study (4031 certifications on July 2012). The list is as follows:
Table of appraisals by country, for each level of maturity. Information as of September 10, 2015.
The most significant change with respect to the previous version, is the dramatic decrease in the number of L2 appraisals (737 in 2015 vs. 872 in 2012). This is because during the last three years, organizations have matured to higher levels of CMMI, or because of the economic difficulties that are suffering Europe, China and their respective spheres of influence, many companies that had a low level of maturity are gone. The key point here is that there are not enough L2 companies being created, which in some years may lead to further consolidation of IT companies, and possibly fewer labor opportunities. Naturally, the regional outlook has been affected by this situation:
• Anglo-America (US, Canada) has maintained a steady growth in number of certifications with just over 4% per year (996 in 2015 vs. 888 appraisals in 2012), relatively on par to its economic growth over the last three years. By contrast, in terms of L5 evaluations, their number decreased from 59 to 56 over the same period.
• Latin America has grown enormously over the past three years, about 21% annually (511 appraisals in 2015 vs. 316 in 2012). This block is being pushed mainly by Mexico and Colombia (with 224 and 84 certifications, respectively). And regarding the L5 certifications, today Mexicans and Colombians can be proud of the level of maturity found in their organizations, because by having 22 and 15 L5 certifications respectively, both countries are becoming the main IT service providers in the region. Unfortunately, you cannot say the same for Brazil, because due to its “World Cup effect“, this South American power has stalled, growing or replacing only 7 certifications in the last three years.
• With the economic problems being faced by southern Europe – Portugal, Spain, France, Italy and especially Greece – the whole region is going down with 379 appraisals in 2015, down from the 406 it held in 2012. Although the fall in number of certifications is more pronounced in Spain, with 20 fewer certifications than in 2012, Western Europe in general has decreased the number of its certified organizations. The exception is Eastern Europe, especially Poland (+3) and the Czech Republic (+2). Of course, the European maturity level has increased, reaching 41 L5 in these three years.
• The Middle East has remained as a hub of IT services for years – especially Egypt and Israel – demonstrating continuity with 38 certifications, of which 10 are L5.
• Although Africa has made an extraordinary increase (26 appraisals in 2015 vs. 8 in 2012), the continent remains underdeveloped in terms of IT industry. This is very worrying, as a continent of 1.1 billion people still does not reach the technological maturity of a country like Argentina, which has the same number of certifications, but has a population of only 42 million.
• Australia and New Zealand have remained relatively stable (9 certifications in 2015 vs. 8 in 2012).
• Finally, Asia (3055 certifications in 2015 vs. 2248 in 2012) has reached an annual growth of 12% being led by China and India (2078 and 545 appraisals, respectively). Both countries together have just over half of the L5 certifications in the world (276 out of 485 certifications). However, this does not detract from other countries such as Thailand (50 certifications), Turkey (35) and Vietnam (25), having made a successful effort to attract investment to the IT industry.
CMMI in Mexico: using the Fuaaa
On September 10, 2015, Mexico had 224 certifications distributed among 219 organizations, making the country the fourth in the world with more evaluations in this model, after China, India and the United States. Having overtaken Brazil, Spain, Japan and South Korea in number of certifications, Mexico is also fourth in L5 assessments (22), behind the two Asian and American giants, respectively.
If each unit is considered as independently assessed – for example, HITSS Solutions (21855) has distributed functions between the states of Queretaro and Aguascalientes, counting as two certifications – there would be a total of 251 independent evaluations, distributed among Mexican states as follows:
Table of certifications by state, for each level of maturity. Information as of September 10, 2015.
• It is notorious the ongoing rivalry between Jalisco and the Federal District for supremacy in terms of CMMI adoption. While both entities had 35 and 28 certifications in 2012, three years later both have 63 and 69 certifications, respectively. Federal District organizations have focused on consolidating the L5 level, while the Mexican Silicon Valley, being more dynamic, has 38 L2 organizations: just over 32% of the country overall.
• On the third place is the northern state of Nuevo Leon, which agglomerates 27 certifications, and following very closely, the state of Sinaloa with 25. It is worth mentioning that for some time, both states also have become strong rivals seeking to offer nearshoring services to the United States, taking advantage of proximity to customers in the case of Nuevo Leon (bordering Texas upstate), or cheap labor and relative proximity to California, as is the case with Sinaloa.
• Although the state of Queretaro is still establishing itself as an important industrial and IT services hub with 15 appraisals – of which 6 are L5: second place nationally – the surprise this time is the state of Yucatan, because it had no certifications in 2012, having attained 7 in the last three years. The most significant point of its growth is that it already has a L4 certification, which will become a new L5 in less than a year.
It’s interesting to see how the North-South divide does not apply to IT: so distant nations that are hardly heard in the news – such as Thailand and the Philippines – are powers within this industry. Of course, although it is not reflected in this study, there are multinationals that are responsible for these success stories: for example, the renowned Irish consulting company Accenture owns seventeen L3 certifications, one L4 and nine L5, distributed throughout Europe, Asia and Latin America – 27 in total, equal in number to those of the entire United Kingdom.
On the other hand, it is sad to see how powers in this area (Brazil, Spain) are deflating due to economic problems, as this will impact the medium and long term viability of their IT industries. This in fact is already evident in the case of Spain, since in recent years, Mexico has seen a new wave of Spanish immigrants fleeing the current economic crisis, and whom for better or worse, have benefited Mexico at the expense of Spain.
Speaking of Mexico, it is a pleasant surprise to see how the country has risen to the fourth place in the world rankings. Perhaps due to greater economic integration we have with the United States, or possibly some of the programs implemented by the federal government are paying off. Leaving aside the cause for another time, the reality is that by having an IT market worth approximately 23.63 billion dollars and an expected growth of 6.4% for 2015, Mexico is becoming one of the major global players. According to Gartner:
However, we must not lower our guard: with an economic downturn in our doorsteps, many of these plans can come down. For now, let’s have a toast: this is an occasion to celebrate.
Posts Tagged ‘English’
Anyway, translated for your pleasure, enjoy:
Some time ago I found a nice post from Vinicius Covas, a Brazilian student who lived in Mexico City for most of 2013 thanks to an international student exchange program. According to his observations, he truly enjoyed living here; hoping to see “the real Mexico“, only to find there are no sombreros, burritos nor adobe houses. As many people before him have noticed, there are many Mexican customs and traditions quite unique, even if you consider Brazilians to also be “Latin Americans”. The truth is Brazil and Mexico are very different in many ways; just like Canada and Australia, or the ‘States and England. So, I’ve translated the whole article, which is causing a stir in Mexican social media sites, as it shows Mexico through the eyes of a cidadão Brasileiro. Just a word of caution: this list is especially relevant for Mexico City; not so for other parts of the country: telling someone from Cancun or Tijuana that everyone in Mexico loves tacos is like saying all Americans love their chili con carne. That being said, enjoy:
I love to see how every time a foreigner comes to Mexico, especially American or European, he or she becomes amused and even shocked when visiting our country for the first time. This happens because after they get off the plane at Mexico City, they expect us to be dressed up like Pancho Villa, inhabiting adobe houses in the middle of the desert. This is why I am compiling a small list with the most common misconceptions foreigners have about us when they visit Mexico:
• Mexico is a desert where it is always over 40°C (104°F)
The truth: Mexico is one of the most diverse countries in the world in terms of biomes and climates. Yes, we have the Sonoran and Chihuahuan deserts in northern Mexico, but only on the extreme north. The rest of the country varies considerably according to altitude and latitude. We have tropical rainforests on the Yucatan Peninsula; plains and grasslands along the Gulf of Mexico; oak and pine forests in the Mexican Central Plateau, and there are even some villages and regions along the Sierra Madre mountain ranges with seasonal snowfalls. For instance, Monterreal in the northern state of Coahuila is the first ski center in Mexico.
• Mexico is small and lightly populated
The truth: Mexico is the 15th largest country in the world, with the size of Spain, the United Kingdom, France, Italy and Germany combined. Compared against American states, Mexico has three times the size of Texas or almost the size of Alaska. Regarding population figures, Mexico is the 11th most populated country in the world, with approximately 114 million inhabitants (2012), or slightly more than a third of the population of the United States.
• All Mexicans are look-alikes of Speedy Gonzales
The truth: most of us are mestizos – the result of interracial marriages between Native American people and Spanish conquistadors who conquered and settled these lands during the 16th century. Some of us are lighter; some of us are darker. So, we have every shade of the spectrum, with güeros like Inés Sainz and ‘Arab’ Mexicans who are descendants of Middle East immigrants, especially from Lebanon and Israel like Jaime Camil; we also have ‘Afromexicans’, like the soccer player Giovani dos Santos or our second president, Vicente Guerrero. There are even people from Chinese, Filipino and Korean descent making up 1% of our population – comparatively speaking, it is the same proportion of Native Americans, Alaskan and Hawaiian people in the United States. On the other hand, besides national celebrations and soccer matches, I’ve never seen a Mexican wearing a ‘sombrero‘. What I’ve explained to many of our visitors, is that at the beginning of the 20th century, during our Mexican Revolution (1910-1921) several revolutionaries were photographed wearing such clothing, which nowadays is as fashion to us as the top hat – like the one worn by Abraham Lincoln – is to modern-day Americans.
• Mexico is pitifully poor…
The truth: Mexico is a “middle class” country. This means we don’t belong to the industrialized world, but we are not part of the “exclusive” group of countries with periodic famine, war – about our narco violence we will talk in a moment – or constant humanitarian missions from the United Nations. According to a study from the Brookings Institution, 60.1% of the Mexican population has a middle-class income level with approximately $10 to $100 US dollars per capita in terms of Purchase Power Parity (PPP). This figure puts Mexican median income above the BRIC block (Brazil, Russia, India, China), who have much lower middle-class populations (Brazil = 33.75%, Russia = 48.1%, India = 15.8%, China = 28.1%) and more on par to countries like Argentina (52.9%), Uruguay (55.84%) and Costa Rica (51.81%).
• …And technologically speaking, we have no more than burritos and adobe houses
The first thing many people ask about Mexico when coming for the first time is: Do you have electricity? How about TV sets? Do you use horses or donkeys as mode of transportation? The reality is Mexico is no longer the backward country from the beginning of the 20th century: nowadays we have electricity – part of it generated by nuclear power – as well as LCD TVs, computers and even electric vehicles; we have cell phone technologies (GPRS/CDMA) and Internet; although expensive, we have schools and hospitals on par to their counterparts in the first world. Our science and technology have been restricted for several years to the maquiladora industry, so knowledge of our own has a long way to go, but certainly we are not in the Middle Ages.
• On Cinco de Mayo (May 5th) we celebrate our independence
The truth: Cinco de Mayo is held to celebrate the Battle of Puebla, where 4,700 Mexican soldiers crushingly defeated 6,480 French soldiers during the Second Franco-Mexican War (1862-1867). It is important because at the time, France was considered the most powerful world power. Due to the Good Neighbor Policy implemented by American president Theodore Roosevelt just before World War II, Cinco de Mayo became a “Mexican-American pride day” in the United States, although it has degenerated into “one of the days everybody gets drunk” at the other side of the border.
• Mexico is like the Wild West
The truth: Mexico has several challenges to overcome, and among them we can count the hasty maneuver performed by our former president Felipe Calderon (term: 2006-2012) with his “War on Drugs”. This has resulted in certain regions and cities in the country with a terrible violence. However, although Mexico has deficient and corruptible law institutions, it still has them. For example, the murder rate per 100,000 people in Mexico is 13.3, which puts the country as a safer place than more developed nations like Argentina (16.8) and Chile (19.6). Even if we compare Mexico against cities in the United States, it is much safer than let’s say, Dallas (15.8), Cincinnati (19.2), Washington DC (46.3) or New Orleans (53.1). We should not forget however, that Ciudad Juarez, right at the US-Mexico border, is one of the most dangerous cities in the world, with 229 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants.
• Mexican food can be summarized into tacos, tortas and tamales
The truth: Mexican cuisine is now considered an intangible cultural heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. From the Nuevo Leon arrachera, the Sonoran tortilla sobaquera, the mole poblano and chiles en nogada from Puebla, the Yucatec cochinita pibil or the Oaxacan tlayudas con asiento, Mexican cuisine is one of the most extensive in the world with a huge variety of ingredients and flavors. Even though tacos, tortas and tamales are quite popular, they have nothing to do with the so-called “Mexican food” outside our borders. One instance is the “chili con carne“, which isn’t Mexican at all (it is Texan, by the way).
• And regarding drinks, all we have is tequila and Corona beer
This false belief is equivalent to the wrong assumption that all Americans drink nothing but Sam Adams or all Europeans keep sipping Heinekens. The truth is, there is a wide array of drinks done and consumed in Mexico. Mezcal, aguardiente, white, pink and red wines; whiskeys, rum and brandy are quite popular; Corona beer could have an impressive marketing campaign outside of Mexico, but here the most popular include Indio and Victoria. And for those who don’t appreciate alcohol, you can find thousands of aguas frescas with many flavors, like horchata, jamaica and tamarindo.
This stereotyping thing is not limited to the way you look, dress or act; it also involves deeper issues such as type of society and economy. It is weird that the existing image of Mexico abroad is no longer prevalent since almost a century ago, while our country is identified with drugs and sombrero-wearing revolutionaries. Well, according to predictions, by 2030 the percentage of middle-class population in Mexico will be around 70 to 85%: something relatively close to a developed country. I cannot imagine the surprise of many when that messed up country south of the American border suddenly becomes the 10th largest economy in the global ranking. Will Mexico become a world power? Of course not, but at least a comfortable place among the “not so poor” countries such as Portugal or South Korea sounds good. It is worth mentioning however, that any further success stories from Mexico are despite the clumsy governments we have had for the last 40 years. But that is another story.
|Tips & Tricks.|
A couple of years ago I published an entry regarding what is CMMI and how are distributed the certifications of this popular quality model around the world. Nowadays, there have been many changes in the process itself and the publication of the results by the SEI, so it seems aproppriate to explain some points relevant to this version:
• CMMI has evolved not only to diagnose the processes of management or development of products and services. There are currently six “constellations” that detect the level of maturity in other areas within the organization:
• Because of the different types of evaluations, some companies may have more than one active certification. For example, the Mexican company Taak Corporativo [assessment 17013, valid until August 10, 2014] has two certifications: one based on the CMMI-DEV v1.3 model (software development) and another based on the CMMI-SVC v1.3 model (consulting services). For purposes of this analysis, both assessments are accounted for separately.
• Again, there are many certifications shared between different countries through the integration of globalized services and business models where suppliers are outsourced around the world. A representative example is taken by the Indian company Tata Consultancy Services Limited [assessment 15250, effective until December 8, 2013] which has distributed business units among India, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, China, the United States, Hungary, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, the United Kingdom, South Africa and Uruguay. On this study, the evaluation for each country is accounted for separately, as the certification includes an assessment of each business unit independently.
• The appraisal results page by the SEI now includes a filter by country. However, care must be taken with the assessments presented, because clearly there are some errors in the distribution of certificates. For example, if we look for certifications of Jamaica, the page shows a certification awarded to Infosys Technologies Limited. Closer inspection allows us to realize due to a typographical error, this company which is from India, is incorrectly attributed to Jamaica.
• As in the previous version, some evaluations have a CMMI level 1 (chaotic). While they are published on the appraisal results page, these are not accounted for in the study. On the other hand, there are certifications that do not provide the level of the evaluation, or due to customer requirement, the level is not published. These certifications are not considered in the count.
Who is certified?
As of July 17, 2012, there were 4,031 active certifications around the world, spread across 84 countries. This represents an increase of just over 14% annually in the number of certifications from 2010 (3,135 certifications). The medal table is shown below:
CMMI appraisal table by country, for each maturity level. Information last updated on July 17, 2012.
Again, interesting situations arise from the numbers obtained:
• The top ten with certifications is composed by the same countries that represent some of the largest economies in the world:
Top 10 countries with certifications. Information last updated on July 17, 2012.
The most significant changes over the 2010 version took place in China, Korea and Mexico, as they grew in number of certifications by 44%, 42% and 34% respectively. By contrast, France lost 5 certifications because these were not renewed.
• For Level 5 certifications, India remains to be the country with more maturity in their organizations; Korea is tied with Spain for the fifth place, now there are four Latin American countries included in the top ten and there is a tie between four nations for the 9th position and four for the 10th spot:
Top 10 of certifications level 5. Information last updated on July 17, 2012.
• Latin America keeps moving ahead with a sustained increase from 280 to 316 certifications. The region is still dominated by Brazil and Mexico with 62% of the region’s total, but the surprise here is Colombia, who went from 18 to 28 certifications in less than two years. We also have to celebrate that Cuba has acquired its first certification, however for now it is only for academic purposes.
• The United States and Canada have grown in number of certifications from 702 to 888 altogether. This represents an increase of 26% since 2010.
• Europe groups together 406 certifications, from which not surprisingly, Spain has almost 38%. Its closest competitors include France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy and Portugal, however these nations are well below the massive participation shown by the Iberian country, for while the latter included 22 new certifications since 2010, the rest of the continent only contributed with 13 additional certifications.
• Sub-Saharan Africa remains to be the last region from them all, with a growth from 5 to 8 certifications assigned to South Africa, Angola, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi and Mauritius.
• By contrast, the Islamic world is emerging as a new player, with 137 certifications under its belt, almost doubling the 78 it had in 2010. Countries with more certifications in this group include Malaysia, Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Jordan.
• Australia and New Zealand have decreased from 11 to 8 certifications altogether, almost all of them attributed to operational support organizations and manufacture of embedded systems.
• Russia has increased the number of certifications from 4 to 7, almost all acquired by financial and research and development organizations.
• Finally, as expected, growth is focused on Asia, from 1718 to 2248 certifications. Of particular importance we have China, India, Japan and South Korea, which have 93% of the certifications from this region.
♫ Mexico lindo y querido… ♫
Mexico comprises 94 certifications, of which four are shared with Colombia, the United States and India. The list includes two certifications that are not being recorded, as the CMMI level with which they were certified is not known:
Certified organizations in Mexico as of July 17, 2012.
If we consider all business units as independent entities, Mexico had 117 certifications. Now it is the state of Jalisco (35) taking the lead, followed closely by Mexico City (28). Guanajuato (13) has had a significant growth while Nuevo Leon (10) and Sinaloa (10) are lagging behind. Queretaro (5), Sonora (3), Aguascalientes (3) and Baja California (3) have maintained a small but steady growth while Chihuahua (2), Puebla (1) and Coahuila (1) remain almost unchanged. On the contrary, Zacatecas (2) and Morelos (1) are now part of the CMMI club, but this is rather due to the expansion of organizations whose headquarters are outside those states.
In an increasingly competitive environment, we must use every tool at our disposal to attract business and investment: CMMI is clearly a means to achieve that. And these are not only castles in the air, as countries as diverse as Malaysia, Egypt, Chile and Vietnam are becoming suppliers of high technology and consulting services that already compete in the global market.
In the case of Mexico, we can see how it is steadily becoming an information technology powerhouse, because it has a reasonable number of qualified professionals, decent infrastructure and significant support from the Mexican government and organizations providing support to bolster competitiveness. Are we now part of the first world? Of course not, but considering the progress made in recent years, the future looks bright.
|Tips & Tricks.|
For historical and comparative reasons we keep this information, but some time ago we published the updated account of CMMi organizations in Mexico and the world, during mid-September of 2015. As a summary, during the Fall of 2015, there were 5,014 appraisals distributed among 83 countries, of which the top 10 includes China, the United states, India, Mexico, Spain, South Korea, Brazil, Colombia, Japan and France. Without further preamble, we present the original document…
The software industry has expanded dramatically, due to among other things, lower hardware costs and the need for information systems and Internet presence just to stay competitive. There is however, a problem that has plagued the industry since its inception: the subject of quality. There are few approaches, standards or best practices, which have resulted on hundreds of software engineers, project managers and academics struggling to find a solution against ongoing projects that fail to meet expectations, get delayed or consume more budget than it was initially granted. However, one of the most recent quality models with greater acceptance is the so-called Capability Maturity Model Integration – CMMI.
The origins of CMMI
In the early 1980’s several projects commissioned by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) failed impressively: the suppliers responsible for carrying out these projects extended their allocated budget and time beyond what was initially envisioned, if they came to completion at all. Note at that time, all projects requested by the United States Government – including its armed forces – selected the bidding winner just based on price.
So, the DoD was forced to found the Software Engineering Institute (SEI), operated by the Carnegie Mellon University and its primary mission consisted on identifying a maturity framework or model with which the ability of a company to build software could be judged. By 1987 the institute had developed the Capability Maturity Model (CMM). In 1991, version 1.0 of the CMM for software development (SW-CMM) was released by the SEI, thus more than 30,000 people from approximately 2,400 organizations were able to certify their companies on CMM, being able to participate in U.S. Government biddings, now mostly basing its bidding decisions on the participants’ maturity level. On 1997 works were begun to update the CMM and incorporate international standards. On 2000 the first version of this new model was released, now referred to as CMMI:
In short, CMMI is a process improvement methodology, NOT a software development methodology, project management methodology or software life cycle management methodology. Basically, CMMI is a checklist where the division, project or company to be certified has to deliver the expected artifacts for each level of maturity. Currently, there are five levels of maturity covered by the model, allowing to identify companies that are “too green” from those that can be trusted, with relative authority, to deliver projects of high complexity and risk. The following table shows the five levels and process areas that are evaluated within each level:
According to the certification level some documents or evidence will be required, to prove the assessed processes are underway. For example, the CMMI Level 2 assessment requires reviewing the process area known as Project Planning (PP). It requires to show proof of the relevant activities, related to the following Specific Objectives (SO) and Specific Practices (PE):
Stressing again that CMMI is neither a management nor development methodology; it assumes that the company or area to be certified already possesses the necessary standards to check the maturity level, so the certification will not request an artifact from a specific methodology. However, only for reference: if we were properly implementing RUP in conjunction with the PMBOK in our projects, we should have a nearly-effortless successful evaluation for CMMI-2 and would have a small share of the points covered by CMMI-3.
Why is CMMI so important?
In short: big bucks. Originally, CMM and CMMI were thought as process methodologies that would allow many software development companies to be suppliers of the U.S. government – and we all know it can be very generous, especially on defense contracts. However, CMMI is steadily becoming a standard that can be used to promote the ability to develop safety-critical software, or it can give a competitive advantage if we so wish to participate in projects of high complexity and risk, which for obvious reasons, have a high price and very good profits. For example, Boeing, General Dynamics, IBM, Lockheed Martin, Motorola, Raytheon and Toshiba are some of the companies that have achieved a Level 5 of CMMI, which opens the door to projects in the range of tens or hundreds of millions of dollars.
Who are certified in CMMI in the world?
As of July 22, 2010, there were 3,060 active certifications provided by the SEI (see the complete list here). Many of these are shared by several countries, as some portion of the project, area or certified company takes part on a decentralized manner. For example, the EADS corporation (European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company) is a European conglomerate which certified its Defense and Communications Systems division (DCS) on the second level of CMMI on June 10, 2009. This certification is shared by Germany, France, the UK and Finland, because certain areas of research and development are split among these four countries. So, there are 3,135 certifications granted to 72 countries worldwide. The top 10 countries with these certifications are, not surprisingly, taken by some of the world’s largest economies:
There are some comments worth mentioning:
• It’s impressive to see how China is taking over the world: with little more than a third of the globally issued certificates (1,048), the future is theirs.
• The United States and Canada group together 702 certifications, many of them shared; this consolidates this region of North America as a single power that even then, is small compared with the vast number of certifications that China possesses.
• Europe has 371 certifications, from which just over one third (131) are from Spain, the most advanced country in this regard.
• Latin America is becoming significant as a whole: with Brazil (98) and Mexico (70) leading the region, they have 280 issued certifications. Latin American countries that have some certification include Argentina (47), Chile (26), Colombia (18), Peru (10), Uruguay (4), Costa Rica (4), Guatemala (1), Panama (1), Paraguay (1), El Salvador (1) and Venezuela (1).
• The sad reality for sub-Saharan Africa is that they still remain far behind the rest of the world; currently they have just 5 certifications, contributed by South Africa (2), Ghana (1), Mauritius (1) and Malawi (1).
• Finally, the mystery case: Russia has only 4 certifications. However, it shows these awards were required to capture dollars: MERA Networks, the Moscow Boeing Design Center, Auriga Inc. and Reksoft Co.Ltd. are the Russian companies that have this kind of certification.
The Mexican case
At present we have 70 institutions certified before CMMI in Mexico, from which three are shared along with Argentina and the United States:
What I find remarkable is that in Mexico there are five Level-5 CMMI certifications, leaving the country ahead of most other nations in regard to this level of maturity, with the exception of India (63), the United States (40) and China (20). This means that although there are still few companies with CMMI, we have a high level there. This is also substantiated by the fact that unlike those countries, most Mexican companies are certified by the organization as a whole, not just a specific division or project.
On the other hand, it is quite noticeable how centralized is the software industry in Mexico, for almost all certifications are agglomerated around the Distrito Federal (22) and the states of Nuevo Leon (12), Sinaloa (11) and Jalisco (8). Guanajuato and Queretaro contribute with 4 certifications each; Chihuahua, Coahuila and Puebla contribute with 2 certifications by state. Finally, in Sonora, Aguascalientes, Baja California and Yucatan there is one company certified by each state. The surprise here is Sinaloa, as it has surpassed Jalisco (and its Mexican Silicon Valley) by number of certifications. More so when Sinaloa is traditionally viewed as a farming, cattle raising or tourism-driven state. Way to go for the Sinaloans!
CMMI serves not only as a platform to promote ourselves before a global market; the fact that the most important companies and technology institutions in the world such as NASA, Siemens, T-Systems, Samsung and Accenture have a certification of this type means it DOES help as a model of process improvement to develop products and services with high quality standards. In fact, companies that are not on this list tend, for better or worse, to disappear or be bought by the competition. The harsh reality of competition in the business environment:
|Ecology and climate change|
Last weekend I saw the documentary Six degrees that could change the world, by the National Geographic Channel. In short, it shows in good detail what would be the effects of global warming, for each degree of temperature increase in our planet:
• One degree: Where we are now [See here]
Although most of the effects are known by everybody, it is shocking the explicit way it is shown. It is scary, because almost everyone thinks that global warming just means wearing T-shirts in summer, but the reality is more like a mixture of Soylent Green, the Katrina Effect and Children of Men in a dystopian future right out of our worst nightmares.
Speaking in concrete numbers
Writing down the figures shown in the documentary, the Climate Change 2007 report prepared by the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), conservatively describes what the effects of climate change would be:
• According to the agency estimates, the average global temperatures will increase by 1.4 °C and 5.8 °C by 2100. However, this is just an average: there will be regions and continents where these ranges can be much higher.
• We must think of this problem on a very long term, due to what we do today, will not have a direct effect until decades or centuries later: global warming that we suffer today is caused by gases that were released decades ago. For example, CO2 can persist in the atmosphere up to 200 years, and gases like Perfluoromethane (CF4) can stay up to 50,000 years in the atmosphere.
• According to the same report, the sea level will rise from 20 to 88 centimeters (7.88 to 34.65 inches) by 2100. This already represents a threat to islands such as Kiribati or countries with deltas that flow into the sea such as Egypt and Bangladesh; however there is new evidence that suggests that this is too optimistic: according to James Hansen’s study, titled Climate change and trace gases, "… the geological record suggests that ice at the poles does not melt in a gradual and linear fashion, but it suddenly changes from one state to another. When temperatures increased between 2 and 3 degrees above the current average 3.5 million years ago, the seas did not increased their level by 59 centimeters (23 inches) but by 25 meters (82 feet). Ice responded immediately to changes in temperature … "
• The annual cost to mitigate global warming’s effects can vary between $78 and $1,141 billion dollars, representing 0.2 to 3.5% of global gross domestic product. That is severe: to get an idea of how much it is, if each country pays for its share of a "global disaster relief fund," Mexico would have to pay some $ 29.4 billion, in the worst case. Considering that Mexico’s federal budget is of about $ 209 billion, we would need to incur on extra expenditures of 15%, which obviously we don’t have.
• There is a chance that 20 to 30% of animal and plant species around the world will become extinct, according to current trends. If the average temperature exceeds 3.5 ° C, the extinction rate may rise to 40 – 70% world-wide. For reference, the K/T Event, which resulted in the extinction of dinosaurs, meant the loss of "only" 50% of species on the planet.
• The continued melting of glaciers and little or no replenishment of water sources due to increased temperatures would create a water crisis that can lead to wars over the valuable resource. For the particular case of Mexico, considering the already complicated relations with our northern neighbors (United States), adding water disputes can lead to conflicts such as those between Israel and Lebanon of recent years.
Due to scandals involving errors and omissions in the report presented by the IPCC, at the moment there is a sizeable amount of people (especially blogs) assuming that the whole concept of global warming is just a farce. Well, as high-school Professor Greg Craven conveniently explains in this YouTube video, if we perform a small risk analysis where we have the following decision matrix:
• If climate change is false, and we do nothing… then nothing happens, but the climate is increasingly unpredictable, warmer summers and honestly… Has no one noticed that not everything is as it should?
• If climate change is real and we do nothing… the world ends.
• If climate change is false and we make mitigation efforts… we are making an unnecessary expense, but in my personal opinion this mitigation may include incentives for cleaner industry, technology transfers as recommended by the Kyoto protocol, etc. that would result in a good choice.
• If climate change is real and we try to mitigate it… we are attacking the problem before it presents itself in full swing (remember: the wood that our grandfather burned decades ago continues to float over our atmosphere).
Therefore, on the meantime we better get accustomed to the idea of being greener, before it is too late and we realize that for saving a few cents now, tomorrow we have to pay thousands in repairs.
So, if anyone had any doubts about global warming and what 6 degrees of temperature imply, there you have it: the report gives specific numbers on lives and dollars lost already happening. So either we act now or we are screwed. From that same report: