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CAST: Making the Invisible Visible

CAST: Making the Invisible Visible

Software is the backbone of business and the fuel that powers today’s largest companies. While software is an important ingredient to success in any industry, there are surprisingly few organizations that can provide insights on how their software is functioning and how secure it is. This is where 25-year-old CAST comes into the picture. Traditional software analytics often leave blind spots for technical teams looking to deliver better software and prevent outages. CAST creates system-level application blueprints to clearly  illuminate “heat maps” where performance and security issues put the business at risk.

Based on the idea that “you can’t manage what you don’t see,” CAST was founded by Vincent Delaroche in 1990 to provide business-critical software intelligence. As a first-mover and market creator for system-level software analytics, CAST has made steady progress, currently serving more than 250 customers around the world and working with 9 out of 10 of the top systems integrators to insert system-level analytics into their work on behalf of clients.

Once the company had firmly established in France, it expanded into markets beyond, succeeding in places where few French ISV’s had before, the U. S. being one of these regions. Rather than applying “recipes” to expansion in other geographies just because it works well in another country, CAST invested in solid, local folks who had a real understanding of the nuances of the market to grow the business on a global scale.

Software with ‘Quality Stamps’

CAST has always operated with the objective of making the invisible visible, providing real-time insight into the performance of business-critical systems. It puts great emphasis on helping executives get the truth about their software, transforming it from software to Superware™– resilient, responsive, safe and secure. CAST has three flagship products that help it carry out its vision. The first is CAST Highlight, a SaaS-based offering that conducts portfolio-level scans aimed to help businesses migrate to the cloud, transform Agile development and improve IT rationalization. The second is Appmarq, which generates benchmarks as the world’s largest repository on software structural quality. And lastly, the Application Intelligence Platform, which generates deep-dive performance and security blueprints.

CAST’s suite of products, as its vision states, helps enterprises understand how their applications work. CAST analytics reflect the true state of business systems by going beyond component-level analysis and examining architectural and structural complexities to provide clear and precise understanding of how individual components affect the whole system. This is called system-level analysis. System-level analysis, when applied at the build phase, helps developers make Grade-A software and prevent data corruption, breaches or embarrassing outages. Contextual software analysis significantly reduces the number of spurious findings flagged by traditional code checkers and can help find flaws that traditional application security and performance tools can’t catch: malicious code gaining forbidden access to data, lack of input validation and back doors.

CAST Highlight helps to identify potential IT risks and cost savings opportunities across large and small distributed portfolios. Highlight also helps businesses quickly and objectively assesses their application portfolio for PaaS migration, build a migration strategy based on data and insight.

Perhaps most notable, CAST invests more than $10 million every year in R&D efforts to stay on the cutting edge of analytics technology. CAST’s enterprise-grade software measurement is designed to analyze multi-tiered, multi-technology applications for technical vulnerabilities and adherence to architectural standards and then delivers that insight to the business through user friendly dashboards that make it easy to act.

On top of the game

CAST analytics are based on the leading software quality standards and regulations coming from the Software Engineering Institute (SEI) at Carnegie Mellon University, the Consortium for IT Software Quality (CISQ), the Object Management Group (OMG) and the Common Weakness Enumeration (CWE) to keep customers compliant and up-to-date with the latest regulations.

The Pivoting Mind

Vincent Delaroche is an entrepreneur and change agent who founded CAST and helped it grow from a French start-up to a global leader in system-level software analytics. He is passionate about helping executives get the truth about their software. Trained in mechanical engineering and computer science at a top French school, he now lives in New York, where CAST is headquartered. He currently advises several charities, including Life Project 4 Youth and The Ocean Foundation in addition to his duties at CAST.

 “The outcome of more than $150 million in research and development effort for over 20 years, CAST developed the most advanced X-ray technology for software on the market today.”

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