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In most organizations, proposed investments in software dependability compete for limited resources with proposed investments in software and system functionality, response time, adaptability, speed of development, ease of use, and other system capabilities. The lack of good return-on-investment models for software dependability makes determining the overall business case for dependability investments difficult. So, with a weak business case, investments in software dependability and the resulting system dependability are frequently inadequate. Dependability models will need to support stakeholders in determining their desired levels for each dependability attribute and estimating the cost, value, and ROI for achieving those. At the University of Southern California, researchers have developed software cost- and quality-estimation models and value-based software engineering processes, methods, and tools. We used these models and the value-based approach to develop an Information Dependability Attribute Value Estimation model (iDAVE) for reasoning about software dependability's ROI.
Date of Publication: May-June 2004