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Software should live longer

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1 Author(s)
Zvegintzov, N. ; Software Manage. Network, Staten Island, NY, USA

Software lives longer than most organizations expect-a mean age of 9.4 years for applications of fundamental importance to the organization, according to one study. And it is living longer than before, up from 4.75 years in 1980. Nonetheless, software should live longer yet. Long-living software has many advantages. First, as a software application survives, it works. It benefits the organization that created it and the users that use it, and it pays back its development cost. Second, as a software application survives, it changes continually, functionality being added and modified to meet changing needs. In this continual evolution or maintenance, software fulfills one of its characterizing functions: its modifiability, its capacity for change, its softness. Functions are embodied in software instead of in hardware expressly because they can be changed. Change, and the resources that go into change, are its mission. Finally, as a software application survives, its quality improves. Errors are encountered or found, and removed. An operational profile emerges, and the software is adapted to it. The users who access it and the applications that connect to it explore, exploit, and optimize its capabilities

Published in:

Software, IEEE  (Volume:15 ,  Issue: 4 )

Date of Publication:

Jul/Aug 1998

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