- Poor software quality cost organizations across all U.S. sectors $2.08 trillion in 2020, according to a report published Wednesday by the Consortium for Information & Software Quality (CISQ). The estimated incurred costs stem from unsuccessful IT and software projects, poor quality in legacy systems and operational software failures.
- Operational software failure is the leading driver of cost, reaching an estimated $1.56 trillion in 2020, a 22% increase since 2018. The cost of unsuccessful development projects totaled $260 billion in 2020, a 46% increase since the previous estimate in 2018.
- Cost estimates for operational software failures may fall short in the context of a surge in cybersecurity failures throughout 2020, the report warns. Overwhelmed supply chains and e-commerce systems became prime targets for actors looking to exploit software vulnerabilities.
An undetected software flaw can trigger critical system outages. And misconfiguration of cloud platforms have resulted in data breaches and ransomware attacks, such as the 2019 Capital One data breach.
CISQ defines poor-quality software as products that don’t provide value to users, fail to meet profit goals, produce serious complaints and problems and fail to contribute in some way to the goals of humanity.
In 2020, IT projects executed in haste as a response to the pressures of the pandemic contributed to an expansion in software failures, according to Herb Krasner, author of the report and advisory board member at CISQ.
“There was a lot of software put together very quickly,” said Krasner, a retired software engineering professor at the University of