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The Cost of Poor Quality Software in the US

The Cost of Poor Quality Software in the US

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This research reveals that the cost of poor quality software in the US in 2018 was around $2.84 trillion.

This study aggregates publicly available data on the cost of poor software quality in the US nowadays. It aims to describe how to boost software quality improvement programs across the private sector and government.

According to this paper, good quality software refers to a software product or software system that offers value to users, is profitable, doesn't create issues or problems, and contributes somehow to the goals of humanity. Poor quality software can be defined as the opposite, the document says.

Just a few of the costs caused by poor quality software are very apparent. The research indicates that it is key to identify and improve these costs that are not obvious in order to reduce costs.

In the area of external de deficiencies and failures the paper found that from the perspective of what's known as legacy systems and the key role they have in a good share of IT shops, the costs of poor quality software are estimated at $635bn this year.

The costs of cyber breaches are also expensive - in terms of money and reputation. According to recent data, the impact of cyber attacks on US government and private sector are estimated to have a cost of around $126 bn.

Regarding the area of internal deficiencies and failures, the paper showed that from the viewpoint of the total portfolio of present IT projects, it is a fact that around one-third of them either will be canceled or will fail. It is estimated that $130bn is lost in troubled projects, while nearly $50bn is lost in canceled projects.

As for detecting and repairing internal problems, the estimated cost would be about $500bn, the report found. In the area of technical debt, the costs are estimated at $.54 trillion in technical debt in 2018.



Executive Summary


How much are we spending on IT software in the world today?

Illuminating a fundamental but unseen problem in IT systems 

The cost of quality approach adapted to IT software

The Iceberg Model

The Landscape, Looking: Backwards, Forwards and at Present

Looking backwards: Legacy systems hold us captive 

Looking forward: Tech innovations coming faster and faster

Looking at today: Highly vulnerable and de cient systems of systems

The era of 9-digit failures and defects

Troubled/challenged projects 

Technical debt

Landscape summary

Human Talent Perspective on CPSQ 

Defining the information technology workforce 

Computer and information technology occupations in the US today 

Impact of the IT gig economy


Cost of Software Quality: Definitions and Model 

Definition of software quality 

Good versus poor-quality software 

e cost of software quality model and its evolution 

Categories of CPSQ

Categories of CGSQ


What the various sources have revealed—the cost of poor-quality software 

Summary of poor software quality costs

Other observations 

What to do 


Section References 

Introduction section references

Landscape section references 

Human talent section references 

CoSQ section references

Conclusion section references



Researchfinder Rating
4 out of 5 stars
The Cost of Poor Quality Software in the US
North America
Sept. 26, 2018
Herb Krasner


Number of Pages
Number of Tables
Number of Exhibits
CISQ, cyber security, north america, open source security, software, software budgets, software costs, software quality
Companies mentioned
Uber, Wells Fargo, TSB Bank, Google, Deloitte
Herb Krasner
This report examines the available public sources on the topic of the cost of poor-quality software in the US.

This is an in-detail and in-depth report about the costs of poor quality software for organizations in US.


  • Interesting case studies: Top 2018 it failures in the news
  • Very comprehensive data and information about the costs caused by different types of poor quality issues
  • Insightful conclusions
  • Well-structured
  • Understandable language

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