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Testing: A Key to Building Trust and Confidence in IT Systems



S F. Zevin


The ubiquitous computer now touches nearly every aspect of human life. The promise of information technology is improvement to the quality of life. Maintaining trust and confidence in information technology is central to keeping that promise. This is difficult when most information technology systems fail to meet key user expectations; are difficult to use, fail unexpectedly, contain hidden security vulnerabilities, and are delivered full of bugs. Building the trust of users of IT systems requires a significant new focus on techniques and tools to improve IT systems, from hardware, to system and application software, and to the interactions between the system and the user. Developing the connections between expectations and measurable system attributes enables the user to better understand and establish the level of trust that can be placed in an IT system. NIST concentrates on the development of measurement technologies and testing programs commensurate with life-cycle phases of software development to foster this understanding. Testing methods range from simple code- checking to formal implementations of validation and certification programs conforming to international standards for laboratory testing programs. Future work must address testing beyond component development to the interoperation of components in integrated systems. And, as systems become more complex, dynamic, scalable and changeable, new testing paradigms must be developed.
Proceedings Title
The Standards Edge: Dynamic Tension 2004
Chapter 14
Conference Dates
December 4-5, 2003
Conference Title
Sun Microsystems Corporate Standards


accreditation, certification, conformance testing, ISO 17025, IT measurement science, validation


Zevin, S. (2004), Testing: A Key to Building Trust and Confidence in IT Systems, The Standards Edge: Dynamic Tension 2004 (Accessed April 19, 2024)
Created February 1, 2004, Updated February 19, 2017