Among the achievements of our company, there are two that we want to mention especially: XB Software has successfully passed both ISO 27001 and 9001 certifications. Besides being the cause of pride, these certifications indicate the great difference in the quality of provided services in comparison with non-certified organization. They guarantee the best experience and the best practices implementation for all our present and future clients. In this article we’ll consider how 9001 and 27001 standards certification affects the workflow of the organization and what benefits a client can get using the services of the ISO-certified IT company.
It’s possible for any IT organization to get the 9001 or 27001 certification, but it’s not obligatory. There may be differences between the reasons to get certified. Sometimes, the main intention is to benefit from the best possible practices. Sometimes, an IT firm wants to reassure its clients that the recommendations of the 9001 or 27001 standard have been followed. Regardless of the difference between the possible causes, the aspiration of companies from all around the world to get certified is showing continuous growth in recent years. The survey made by the International Organization for Standardization in 2016 shows that the overall number of certificated companies has increased by 8% which is equal to 123 989 new certificates during the last year. Since the intention of organizations to achieve the certification doesn’t raise any doubts, there is a natural question: What’s the purpose of spending additional efforts? So, let’s check if there’s any significant difference between the certified and non-certified organizations.
Difference Between ISO Certified and Non-certified Companies
Everyone realizes that getting the 9001 or 27001 certification for an IT company is the task that costs of certain efforts and time. What is the difference between ISO certified and non-certified IT companies? There may be a huge difference between how things are done and how they should be done according to the 9001 and 27001 standards. The habitual way of how everything is done may be changed, the audit is required. In case of ISO 27001 the IT company needs to work on the methodology for identification of information security risks, and so on. To understand how following the requirements can help an IT firm to meet the needs of its customer better, let’s take a closer look at the 9001 and 27001 standards.
Having a clear understanding of differences between the 9001 and 27001 standards will help you to define if the quality of services of a particular IT firm is high enough to meet your requirements and decide which quality standard has the highest priority in your particular case. Both of 9001 and 27001 these standards are used to define certain requirements to the organization that can help to standardize the products and services in order to provide additional business opportunities and meet the client’s requirements in the best way. Let’s outline the main differences between ISO 9001 and 27001.
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ISO 9001: Quality Management Systems
The main purpose of the ISO 9001 certification is to guarantee that a company has quality procedures and follows them to maintain the quality of the product at the required level. It’s based on a number of principles that include strong customer focus, the motivation for the top management, constant improvement, and a processed approach. The core idea if the 9001 standard is to ensure that customer needs are met, and there’s enough potential to enhance the satisfaction of a client. Certification plays the role of the guarantor for customers. By having a recognised management standard, your certificates can tell your customers that you are serious about their needs and requirements. When you follow the Quality Management Standard defined by the 9001 standard, you can get access to the framework that you can rely on to improve process control and reliability, better understand the requirements of your customers and ensure the high quality among the employees.
Let’s see how ISO 9001 affects the workflow. There’s the difference between the requirements of 9001 and 27001 standards. We’ll consider the common ones first.
ISO 9001 Requirements
The Context of the Organization. According to the 9001 standard, the IT organization should evaluate itself and its context. This requirement implies that all the influences of the organization that affect organization’s culture, its goals and objectives, the complexity of products, size of the organization and many other factors should be identified clearly. Internal and external issues relevant to the organization should be identified both for ISO 9001 and 27001, but the difference is that the first standard focuses on quality, and the second one focuses on information security.
Stakeholders and their Requirements. All interested parties can have an impact on the ability of the IT company to develop products and provide services that meet the needs and requirements of a customer. If you want to follow the 9001 standard, you have to define all the interested parties that are relevant to the Quality Management Systems. In most cases, you won’t find a big difference between organizations from this point of view, and the groups of the greatest interest will be the following:
- Customers that use the products and services can directly affect the ability of the IT company to satisfy their needs. The ability to understand the preferences of the target audience, its needs and expectations is one of the key factors that define the core difference between the organizations that are certified and those that are not. Customers can be one of the most important interested parties in any business.
- Government and non-government organizations Each country has its own unique legislation, and regardless of the industry that the organization involved, there are legal requirements and laws that the provided services and products must correspond. Ignoring them will cost a lot.
- Employees The intention of the organization’s employees to create products and services that meet the needs of the clients the best possible way requires a specific working environment.
- Shareholders Each of the shareholders will be interested in the efficiency of the company’s QMS. This group will also be interested in the ability of the organization to demonstrate the potential for continual improvement.
Responsibility and Authority. The IT organization should define the differences between roles and responsibilities required by ISO 9001 and 27001.
Competence, Awareness, Communication, Control of System Documents and Records. This series of requirements are common to many standards.
Internal Audit and Management Review. There’s the difference between the goals of ISO 9001 and 27001. The requirements that should be audited may differ according to a particular case. What stays the same is the way of how the process is conducted. Internal audits and management reviews can be done at the same time or separately. It depends on the structure of the organization, its size, and complexity.
Systems for Nonconformity and Corrective Actions. The ways of handling nonconformities and corrective action for ISO 9001 and 27001 don’t have many differences and look pretty much the same.
ISO 27001: Information Security Management Systems
The main goal of getting this ISO certification is to introduce the requirements for establishing and constantly improving the Information Security Management System (ISMS). The standard consists of 35 security categories such as access control, physical and environmental security, privacy and protection of information, and so on. Besides that, there are 114 controls in place. The core idea is to create and maintain the conditions that contribute to the security of sensitive information such as business data or employee’s personal info. They affect not only people but also processes and IT systems. Therefore, if you decide to apply for services of our company as your custom web application developer, you can be assured that the data integrity won’t be a cause for a headache.
The diverse nature of standards allows improving the efficiency of the IT company very significantly. Different standards can supplement each other increasing the possibility for a business to success. For example, ISO 9001 allows to create potential using the Quality Management Systems, and ISO 27001 can help to keep the secrets of the organization secure by ensuring the confidentiality of client’s information and internal data. We’ve already mentioned the requirements that are common both for ISO 9001 and 27001. To know the difference, let’s take a look at the requirements that are unique for ISO 27001.
Additional Requirements of ISO 27001
Information Security Risk Assessment is one of the most complex requirements in ISO 27001. By choosing the right methodology, the organization can significantly simplify the task of meeting this requirement. ISO 27001 requires that the whole risk assessment process should be documented. It’s crucial for the IT organization to define the methodology that will be followed before dealing with this requirement. The organization has to answer the following five questions:
- How to identify the risk that can lead to the loss of confidentiality?
- Who are the risk owners?
- What’re the criteria for assessing consequences and the likelihood of the risk?
- How will the risk be calculated?
- What’s the difference between the risks that can be accepted and those that are unacceptable?
Answering these five question will be enough. Choosing more elements will cause undesirable complication.
Information Security Risk Treatment. This step requires the organization to apply one of the information security controls listed in this ISO standard. The purpose is simple. The IT company should be able to provide the mechanisms that can help to control the risks identified during the Security Risk Assessment phase. There’s the difference between the possible ways of completing this task. For example, there’s the possibility to decrease the risk by applying some of the security controls offered by the ISO 27001 standard. To avoid the risk, the IT company can stop a particular process in the case it’s too risky, and it’s too hard to mitigate the possible undesirable consequences. Another option is to reconsider the way of how things are done and make changes to the processes used.
The Benefits of the ISO 27001/9001 Certification
Now, let’s outline the difference between the services provided by certified and non-certified firms. So, what are the main benefits that a customer can get by using the services of the certified organization?
ISO 9001 Certification: Culture of Continuous Improvement
The 9001 standard is based on seven Quality Management Principles one of which is Customer Focus. This principle deals with customer needs and expectations. It helps to maintain and improve relationships with our clients. The intention to understand and follow their needs allows us to deliver high-quality products that better meet the requirements. Constant measurement of the satisfaction of our customers leaves no room for disappointment in the results of work.
Another important principle is Relationship Management. It means that our company pays special attention to relations between all stakeholders. Such approach helps to improve communication and trust. Being free to consider opinions, we can achieve better understanding between influencing parties.
The 9001 standard implies strategic approach and evaluation of suitability and effectiveness of the Quality Management System. For maintaining the high level of performance, our company conducts continuous measurements, analysis, and evaluations of the crucial indicators. Therefore, our clients can be assured that we follow the high standards of services and constantly improve our efficiency.
The Quality Management System creates a continuous improvement culture and affects every process and every product to conform the needs of our customers by meeting not only stated but the implied requirements as well.
How ISO 27001 Helps to Improve the Information Security
When you work with sensitive personal information or business data, you’re interested in the best information security methods implemented by an outsource web development company you’re dealing with. Since we follow the ISO 27001 requirements, the information security has high priority for us. We follow the cutting-edge standards that determine the way of how data is stored, postulate the high priority of controlled access and safe usage, and even describe how the data should be disposed of when it’s no longer need. For example, in accordance with the ISO 27001:2013 standard, all items of equipment that contain storage media are verified to ensure that any sensitive data and licensed software has been removed or securely overwritten prior to disposal or re-use. The systematic approach to information security allows reducing the severity of regular threats to your business information and helps to avoid the loss of your clients’ trust.
The differences between different standards supplement each other increasing the efficiency of the IT company. The key aspect is that non-certified organizations experience substantial loss of effectiveness and productivity compared to certified firms. By implementing the 9001 and other standards, the organization can increase the customer satisfaction, create a continuous improvement culture, reduce the costs, and achieve additional market opportunities.
As a client, you can be assured that all your requirements, stated and implied, will be followed and the final product will be delivered on time. The 27001 standard guarantees that all your business information will be secured and your clients’ data will stay confidential.
Vitaly Hornik, the Chief Operating Officer of Delivery Department of XB Software, has commented:
Company’s certification shows its mature approach to the way it runs business, its understanding of keeping in mind more items which have influence on the project success, its striving to keep and improve its positions on the market. That means for you as a strong business performer that the company can be considered a long-term partner you can deal with.