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Education Programming Software The Almighty Buck

NSF Wants To Know How Much Software Really Costs 181

eldavojohn writes "It's no secret that the actual cost of software is very complicated. Sure, the companies that write software are spending money on it, but when that software is released, it doesn't stop costing money. You can probably think of a number of relatively tiny things that add up — especially if you're a system administrator — like the man-hours spent patching software to avoid a nasty infection spreading quickly. The bigger debt is that old piece of software you paid a bunch of money for back in 1998 that you're critically dependent on, but it has no support and hasn't been updated in years due to any number of reasons. Well, the National Science Foundation paid Gartner almost half a million dollars to find out what it truly costs to bring an organization to a fully supported environment. According to Gartner, this hidden liability or 'IT debt' is at $500 billion worldwide right now, and in five years it will be at $1 trillion. Along similar lines, a company called Cast that makes software quality tools reported that your average business application comes with a million in IT debt (PDF). And if that's not misapplied enough for you, they estimate that the debt is $2.82 per line of code in the application and also that it's on average higher in the government sector."
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NSF Wants To Know How Much Software Really Costs

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  • by tsa ( 15680 ) on Monday October 11, 2010 @09:35AM (#33858606) Homepage

    It could cost $5,- per game and people would still make big profits. Illegal copying drives the price up, however.

  • by CarpetShark ( 865376 ) on Monday October 11, 2010 @09:56AM (#33858782)

    Illegal copying drives the price up, however.

    There. I said it.

    No, you regurgitated the meme without any awareness that you're a memetic breeding ground.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 11, 2010 @09:57AM (#33858790)

    Next, the automakers will get creative and figure out the national "automotive debt" that details the long-overdue cost to update everyone's wheels to the current standards. Of course, once they do, the "debt" starts rolling again.

    And don't forget the national "old charcoal grill debt".

    As for IT, if everyone upgraded to the latest software that would make life easier for hackers, no? They wouldn't need to waste cycles studying the vulnerabilities of 10-15 year old applications each used by a widely scattered customer base.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 11, 2010 @10:11AM (#33858906)

    Wait a minute. I'm a manager, and I've been reading a lot of case studies and watching a lot of webcasts about The Cloud. Based on all of this glorious marketing literature, I, as a manager, have absolutely no reason to doubt the safety of any data put in The Cloud.

    The case studies all use words like "secure", "MD5", "RSS feeds" and "encryption" to describe the security of The Cloud. I don't know about you, but that sounds damn secure to me! Some Clouds even use SSL and HTTP. That's rock solid in my book.

    And don't forget that you have to use Web Services to access The Cloud. Nothing is more secure than SOA and Web Services, with the exception of perhaps SaaS. But I think that Cloud Services 2.0 will combine the tiers into an MVC-compliant stack that uses SaaS to increase the security and partitioning of the data.

    My main concern isn't with the security of The Cloud, but rather with getting my Indian team to learn all about it so we can deploy some first-generation The Cloud applications and Web Services to provide the ultimate platform upon which we can layer our business intelligence and reporting, because there are still a few verticals that we need to leverage before we can move to The Cloud 2.0.

  • by Profane MuthaFucka ( 574406 ) <> on Monday October 11, 2010 @10:13AM (#33858934) Homepage Journal

    If they really want to know what software costs these days they need to be calculating those prices in Rupees, not Dollars

  • by Hognoxious ( 631665 ) on Monday October 11, 2010 @10:26AM (#33859012) Homepage Journal

    Learning on unauthorised copies enables companies to hire a person with the needed skills. The company then buys the software that the sole person could not afford.

    tsa (15680) said "It could cost $5,- per game". Do you know anyone looking for an experienced TAK fortification architect/ballistic synergist?

  • by John Hasler ( 414242 ) on Monday October 11, 2010 @10:26AM (#33859026) Homepage

    The solution is obvious. Ban newlines.

    Could impact "software metrics" though. "Three months and you guys have produced only one LOC? You're all fired. We're sending the job to a guy in India who guarantees 20 LOCs per day from each programmer."

  • by heathen_01 ( 1191043 ) on Monday October 11, 2010 @10:55AM (#33859328)
    Your mind tricks wont work on ... One sec ... x-factor is on ...

What is research but a blind date with knowledge? -- Will Harvey