SSMM​ is​​ ​a​ methodology​ ​for active ​discovery​​ ​of​ ​viable​ ​potential​ ​IT​ ​solutions ​ ​for​ ​a​ ​given ​ ​business​ need,​​ ​whether​ those  solutions​ ​are​ open​​ ​source,​ proprietary​ ​software, ​in-house​ ​development,​ ​cloud-based ​solutions,​ or​ opportunities​ ​for​ ​open​ innovation​ ​partnerships.

The​ ​focus ​ of​ ​ SSMM​ ​ is​ ​ to​ ​ ​undertake​ a​ ​ ​breadth-first​ search​ ​ ​of ​ ​the ​ solution​ ​ ​space​ ​focussed​ ​on business ​ and​ ​ ​sustainability​ ​criteria​ ​rather​ ​than ​ ​product​ ​features,​ narrowing​ ​ ​the​ field​ ​ ​to​ viable​ solutions. ​ ​Subsequent​ ​phases​ ​look​ at​ ​ strategic​ ​ fitness,​ ​ and​ ​ ​freedom​ ​to​ innovate​ ​ ​with​ ​the solution ​ ​-​ ​a ​ solution​ ​ ​that​ ​fits​ well​ ​ ​in ​ the​ ​ ​short​ ​term​ ​but​ ​has​ ​little​ ​flexibility​ ​to​ ​adapt​ ​to​ ​changing business ​ ​needs​ ​represents​ ​a ​ potential​ ​ ​source​ of​ ​ ​business ​ risk.​

At​ Cetis​ ​ LLP​ ​ we’ve​ ​ worked​ ​ with​ ​ ​the​ ​SSMM​ ​with ​ several​ ​ ​of ​ ​our​ ​clients​ in​ ​ a​ ​ ​range​ ​of​ ​scenarios, honing​ ​the ​ ​original​ ​methodology​ ​and​ ​toolkit​ ​to​ ​deliver​ ​rapid​ ​solution​ intelligence​ ​ ​for​ ​our​ ​clients.​ In​ some​ ​cases​ ​we’ve​ used​ ​ ​it ​ ​to​ ​produce​ a​ ​ ​snapshot ​ ​of​ ​the​ ​potential​ ​solution ​ ​space,​ ​from ​ ​initial contact ​ with​ ​ ​the​ ​client​ to​ ​ a​ ​ completed​ ​ analysis​ ​ in​ ​ ​ten​ days.​ ​ In​ ​ other​ ​ cases​ ​ we’ve​ ​ worked​ ​ ​through several​ iterations​ ​ ​with​ a​ ​ ​client​ to​ ​ ​build​ the​ ​ ​internal​ ​business ​ ​case​ for​ ​ a​ ​ ​particular ​ solution​ strategy. ​ We’ve​ ​ also​ ​ used​ ​ ​it​ ​to​ help​ ​ ​businesses​ ​conduct​ due​ ​ diligence​ ​ on​ ​ ​potential​ ​competitors and​ collaborators​ ​ for​ ​ in-house​ ​ product​ ​ ​development.

The ​ ​SSMM​ ​can​ be​ ​ ​used​ ​in​ ​a ​ ​robust ​ ​manner​ ​with ​ more​ ​ sophisticated​ ​ tools​ ​ such​ ​ ​as​ ​QSOS,​ ​but ​ in​ practice​ we’ve​ ​ ​found​ ​clients​ ​like​ ​to​ use​ ​ our​ ​ ​rapid​ ​response​ ​service ​ to​ ​ ​gather ​ ​solution intelligence,​ ​and ​ ​then​ ​undertake​ ​further​ ​exploration​ ​using​ in-house​ ​ ​expertise.​ All​ ​ ​our ​ ​SSMM reports ​ ​are​ fully​ ​ ​referenced​ ​and ​ transparently​ ​ ​coded​ ​so​ ​that​ ​in-house ​ ​teams​ can​ ​ ​check ​ ​all​ ​of​ our​ assumptions​ ​and​ ​recommendations​ ​and ​ ​build​ ​upon​ ​the​ ​evidence ​ base.​

SSMM, the Software Sustainability Maturity Model, was originally developed by OSS Watch at the University of Oxford.