80% of US federal IT budget of $ 90 billion is spent on Operations & Maintenance of legacy IT systems
Software doesn’t age well
Consider the following:
The US treasury department uses a 56-year old system for its core operations. Individual Master File (IMF), the core application that receives US tax payer data and dispenses refunds on behalf of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is written in assembly language which is a low-level computer code that is difficult to write and maintain.
Testifying before the US house oversight committee, Terence Miholland, first-ever CTO of IRS stated:
The situation is analogous to operating a 1960s automobile with the original chassis, suspension and drivetrain, but with a more modern engine, satellite radio and a GPS navigation system
Extent of legacy burden
Even though I had a hunch that there could be many legacy applications that are still running, I was alarmed and stunned at the gravity of the situation! Majority of the federal IT systems in the US are archaic, outdated, and obsolete including key departments such as: