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Ultimate Guide to ISO Certifications for App & Software Development

Companies face a wide range of infrastructure vulnerabilities, phishing attacks, data losses and other cyber threats if they do not review their management systems regularly. Thus, having a system in place where security systems, policies and procedures are consistently being looked at and improved is important – and can be implemented and upheld via certifications under the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

In fact, app stores today force there to be an audit via code certificate signing, which puts traceability in place, so having suppliers that help protect your brand and make sure your products are developed to the highest quality and security levels is vital.

As an app and software development company, we are proud that we have been certified in ISO 9001:2015 and ISO/IEC 27001:2013, both of which are appropriate for our industry and essential to us providing a quality service with optimum security and aligned with the latest industry standards.

Let’s take a look at why choosing an ISO certified supplier will benefit you as a customer, offer you the most secure solution and help you gain trust that your software or mobile app will be developed to the highest standard.

What is ISO?

Founded in 1946, ISO, also known as the International Organization for Standardization, is an independent body, which has set 23311 international standards covering aspects of technology and manufacturing to ensure quality, health and safety, customer service, security and data protection. By definition, a standard is described as an expert-endorsed best practice method of doing something whether that be developing a piece of software, conducting a risk assessment or other business activity. As such, ISO certifications are globally recognised and endorsed by professionals. This means that by being ISO certified, Coderus has been nationally and internationally recognised for its high standards.

What is ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management Systems?

ISO 9001 is the internationally recognised standard for quality management systems (QMS). A quality management system (QMS) is a formalised collection of key processes, procedures and responsibilities for fulfilling obligations, achieving high quality work, business efficiencies and customer satisfaction.

Thus, the primary purpose of ISO 9001 is quality control and over 1.1 million certified organisations across a wide range of industries in 178 countries use ISO 9001 to demonstrate their ability to consistently deliver processes, products and services which meet business efficiencies, customer needs, relevant statutory and regulatory requirements. It is the world’s most trusted and prominent quality management system and is underpinned by the following seven key quality management principles including:

  • Customer focus
  • Leadership
  • Engagement of people
  • Process approach
  • Improvement
  • Evidence-based decision making
  • Relationship management

Benefits of ISO 9001

ISO 9001 benefits our company by providing more transparency and a systemic approach to management and decision making via a management system which is regularly assessed by an independent auditor. But why should you work with an ISO certified software development company and what are the benefits?

Improves Customer Satisfaction, Retention & Acquisition

The ISO 9001 certification ensures that products consistently meet customer requirements and expectations and proves that the service a company provides is dependable and reliable, which in turn, improves customer retention and acquisition. These standards are also maintained by continuous assessments.

Reduces Operating Costs, Downtime and Waste in Supply Chain

Since ISO 9001 requires a continual improvement of processes, companies are able to consistently enhance operational effectiveness and efficiency, resulting in less wastage and an increase in efficiency, productivity and profit. By working with a business that has introduced process management across the company reduces costs of projects, removes bottlenecks, improves workflow and boosts productivity.

Improves Delivery Management

With ISO 9001, there is greater consistency and traceability of products and services because ISO requires a more reliable production and delivery schedule, meaning that problems or mistakes are easier to avoid and rectify.

Provides Greater Brand Protection

There are many organisations that are required to engage only with ISO certified software development companies because of the quality assurance and brand protection gained by working with these businesses. To better reiterate why this is… how can you be sure that your developer isn’t adding malware to your software or app? Who is responsible for reviewing this and ensuring it is safe for users to use and protects users? If you’re unsure, then this is a problem and something you should be wary of. ISO certified software development companies have strict audit processes, which ensure that your product is launched successfully and built to the highest standard.

Ensures Legal Compliance

ISO 9001 certified companies understand how statutory and regulatory requirements impact organisations and their customers, meaning you can be sure you are more protected and taken care of.

What is ISO/IEC 27001?

ISO/IEC 27001, sometimes abbreviated to ISO 27001, is the internationally recognised standard for information security management systems (ISMS). An information security management system (ISMS) consists of policies, processes, controls  and other components involving people in the company as well as processes, property and technology infrastructure used by the organisation.

The primary purpose of ISO 27001 is ensuring that information and information processing facilities are secure and legal compliance is properly implemented and maintained across organisations and uses risk and opportunity management processes, risk assessments and risk treatments to mitigate and properly respond to security threats and incidents such as:

  • Cyber crime
  • Personal data breaches
  • Vandalism / terrorism
  • Fire / damage
  • Misuse
  • Theft
  • Viral attacks

ISO/IEC 27001 defines 114 information security controls which are designed to protect information and information processing facilities from ever-present and evolving threats. Essentially, ISO 27001 is a framework that ensures organisations are establishing, implementing, operating, monitoring, reviewing, maintaining and continually improving their information security management systems.

Benefits of ISO 27001

ISO 27001 benefits our company by protecting ours and our clients’ data and enhances our security. But why should you work with an ISO 27001 certified software development company and what are the benefits?

Improves Customer Satisfaction & Trust

Since ISO 27001 requires stringent security controls for information confidentiality, integrity and availability, customers can have confidence that their personal data and information is protected and that this information remains confidential and under NDA at all times.

Enhances Risk Management & Ensures Optimum Security

For ISO 27001, it is essential that companies conduct continuous detailed risk assessments via a systemic framework and have optimum security controls in place, which means that customer records, intellectual property and financial records are always being monitored and are securely protected from theft, loss and damage in all of their forms from digital to hard copy or in the Cloud.

Reinforces GDPR Compliance

ISO 27001 is a global standard which includes controls for protecting personally identifiable information which assists with GDPR compliance, and as a method for achieving good data security. With an increase in focus on data protection laws and regulations such as the UK Data Protection Act 2018 and the EU GDPR, companies should be choosing a supplier who can show them they are adhering to the latest industry standards.

Externally Validates a Supplier

Choosing an ISO 27001 supplier, you are guaranteed to be investing in a company that has a good standard of practices around cybersecurity. To be ISO 27001 certified, companies are required to be verified at least once a year by an external auditor to ensure operations are up to date and continue to comply with ISO and regulatory requirements.

Why Partnering With an ISO Certified Software Development Company is Important for Your Product

Our certifications from the International Organization for Standardization are necessary because they give our customers the assurance that they are in safe hands and help us manage our own internal processes. But how can these kinds of certifications impact your mobile app or piece of software?

Firstly, ISO certified software development companies deliver higher quality products. Would you buy a cell phone even if it didn’t meet all of the quality and safety requirements and was at risk of blowing up in your hand or breaking easily? Or, would you invest in a product if you knew your personal data was at risk? No, you wouldn’t – so why choose a company that isn’t certified and is higher risk than a company with proper processes in place to manage projects effectively from start to finish. ISO certified, Coderus is industry accredited and has been recognised for its products and services all while maintaining high quality standards and data integrity.

In addition to this, partnering with an ISO certified software development company is important for your product’s long term success. If you want to ensure that the end product is going to align with your business goals and objectives, then you’ll want to invest in a development company that has a history of providing exceptional results in the industry. 

Lastly, as an ISO certified agile software development company, we have the flexibility to accelerate product delivery based on your needs, manage changing priorities and requirements on the fly, and conduct testing and reviews at every stage of the product life cycle. Not to mention, we have also completed the necessary training to adopt the best practices when it comes to managing operating systems, developing, testing and deploying a software application that is of the highest quality. 

What does ISO mean for Coderus?

ISO proves we offer a quality service to our customers.

At Coderus, we are keen to make sure that our customer base has every confidence that we will provide an exceptional service to the highest standards. Our ISO certifications show that we meet the necessary requirements and verifies that our method of providing a service has been designed to ensure a high-quality outcome. 

ISO is a third-party endorsement of our business credentials.

Having independent verification against a globally recognised standard in the software industry is what helps to set us apart from our competitors. We can prove that our products and services are industry-accredited and worthy of investment. 

ISO reinforces our continuity of services.

Being ISO certified means that we are subject to continuous measurements. We are constantly undergoing annual audits and assessments to ensure that our processes are complying to the industry standard guidelines for each of our certifications. We also monitor each individual production phase and adapt to advances in technology. Through clear planning and prevention, ISO certified businesses like us, are also better able to keep projects on track even with changing dynamics such as flexible working, employee illness and world pandemics such as Covid-19. By preparing for these things ahead of time means that these teams are more agile and better equipped to handle change and continue business as usual. This is why we have continued developing projects amidst lockdown. Investing in a ISO certified supplier like Coderus, you can be certain that we will work continuously to improve its services.

For Coderus employees, adherence to ISO/IEC 27001 means: 

  • They can be confident knowing that their personal data is only seen by the people who need to see it, relevant to the role. 
  • They have better structure and focus on who owns which information and how to handle data that they manage. 
  • They can work in a daily manner that is underpinned by clear roles, responsibility and competence. 
  • Our documents are easy to locate, retrieve and navigate; all information assets are subject to identification, version control and audit.

For Coderus clients, our adherence to ISO/IEC 27001 means: 

  • We are well aligned with regulation around data security e.g. GDPR-a must for growing companies wishing to compete on a global scale. 
  • We have taken the necessary steps to ensure the safety of our clients’ data, protecting it against internal and external threats – essential in a software development 
  • environment. 
  • We follow stringent operations and process control, keeping documentation to a minimum to ensure that we are efficient and get things right the first time. 
  • Incidents, when they do happen, are handled in a proper manner and corrective actions applied.

How did Coderus become ISO certified?

In this section, we will cover how we became ISO certified so you are aware of the process.

Step 1: Choose Certification Body

The first step of the ISO certification process was to identify which of the standards would best fit our organisation and help us meet all of our requirements. We knew that while the ISO 9001 Quality Management Systems (QMS) for example focuses on meeting customer requirements, the ISO 27001 focuses on information security management systems (ISMS).  

When choosing a certification body, we checked the following:

  • Are they United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) accredited? 
  • Do they have any online reviews? Are they good or bad?
  • Do they provide additional resources or client testimonials?
  • Are they industry accredited?

We decided to go for the ISO 9001 certification and chose NQA as our main certification body, starting a 6 month auditing process back in December 2015, to achieve the 2015 edition of the ISO 9001 certification in 2016.

NQA has a reputation for providing quality certifications to leading technology and software development suppliers across all industries.  We have also attained many other design service certifications including Apple’s MFI Developer, Cypress, Microsoft, Microchip and Digi-key.   

We gained the ISO 27001 certification in 2018 and were supported by ISO consultants Applied Risk Management Limited and external auditors NQA to help define and implement our Quality and Information Security Management Systems. 

Step 2: Management Review

Next, we appointed a management representative who was responsible for implementing any changes that were highlighted when conducting the audit. A management review is now conducted for Coderus at least once a year to ensure the best practices are in place and our ISO management systems are effective, so we can continue to supply our customers with the highest level of service. 

Step 3: Conduct an Internal Audit

To conduct an internal audit at least once a year, we had to familiarise ourselves with the auditing process and gather any useful materials to read up on. The audit process was relatively straightforward and helped us to verify our current business processes are operating as intended, and outline any gaps in our procedures.

Step 4: Implement Corrective Actions

At this stage, we were responsible for correcting any nonconformities and opportunities for improvement identified during the internal audit and submitting all necessary documentation to the auditor. Throughout this process we were able to demonstrate effective and firmly established management systems for all our software development projects. 

Step 5: The Certification Stage 1 and Stage 2 External Audit

To obtain an ISO certification there are 2 stages to the external audit. These are up to 3 months apart. Once the auditor was happy that our management system’s requirements are being satisfied and that the management system is being implemented effectively, they officially granted us with an ISO certification. This process repeats itself every three years, with an audit team reassessing all systems in place, who then recommends us for continued certification. A yearly surveillance audit is required to confirm continued compliance and effectiveness of the management systems.

Take Your Business to the Next Level

At Coderus, we are very proud to be an ISO certified software development company achieving full ISO certification status with all our processes in line with ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management Systems (QMS), and ISO/IEC 27001:2013 Information Security Management Systems (ISMS).  This is our Integrated Management System (IMS).

If you are looking for an ISO certified supplier to take your ideas to the next level, and are interested in a one-to-one consultation about your software requirements then get in touch with a member of our team here

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