A report, Engineering Values in IT, that explores the advantages that an engineering approach can bring to IT projects, especially safety-critical and high-consequence IT systems as used in critical infrastructure and the financial services sector, has been launched by The Royal Academy of Engineering, The Institution of Engineering and Technology and the British Computer Society.

The report highlights the need for software-based IT systems to be reliable, robust and usable. This requires software developers to have significant technical skill, an engineering mindset, and a professional and ethical approach to the development of these systems. It recommends that IT professionals work to achieve chartered status and continually update their professional knowledge, and that employers and procurers of IT systems, especially those in the public sector, demand the use of Chartered Engineers and Chartered IT Professionals in leading roles on critical projects. It also recommends the exploration of additional qualifications or registration for IT professionals working on very high consequence systems.

Dr Martyn Thomas CBE FRENG, a member of the Working Group comments:

"This is a vital report. Software has never been more critical to jobs and national security. The Academy has shown that software engineers need engineering skills and knowledge so that they can deliver the systems we need, reliably, securely and cost-effectively".

The report also calls for appropriate IT and engineering expertise within Government and for Government to work with the professional institutions to gather advice on major IT projects. Universities must also ensure that their undergraduate education reflects the realities of engineering a large scale IT project, including the complexities of working with legacy systems and the associated challenges of change management

Download Engineering Values in IT report (600.79 KB)

Notes for editors

  1. Founded in 1976, The Royal Academy of Engineering promotes the engineering and technological welfare of the country. Our fellowship – comprising the UK’s most eminent engineers – provides the leadership and expertise for our activities, which focus on the relationships between engineering, technology, and the quality of life. As a national academy, we provide independent and impartial advice to Government; work to secure the next generation of engineers; and provide a voice for Britain’s engineering community.

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or to receive a copy of the report please contact: Tonia Page, tel. 07770 845984