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Poor-quality software cost businesses trillions last year

(Image credit: Image Credit: B-lay)

Software is at the very heart of digital transformation and at the core of virtually every business, so having well-built, high-quality software is essential.

However, according to a new report from the Consortium for Information and Software Quality (CISQ), there is a lot of software of poor quality (opens in new tab) in circulation and it’s costing the US economy trillions.

Aggregating and analyzing publicly available data, the organization adjudged that the US economy lost $2.08 trillion in 2020 alone as a result of imperfect software.

Within that figure, the largest sum ($1.56 trillion) was lost due to operational software failures (opens in new tab). This number is up from $1.275 trillion a year prior.

The second biggest reason, despite its relative improvement, was poor quality in legacy systems, which cost US businesses $520 billion, down from $635bn the year before.

Finally, unsuccessful IT and software projects generated losses of $260 billion, up from $177.5 billion in 2018.

There are many ways in which poor software can affect a company’s bottom line, from operational agility and speed to cybersecurity incidents and data breaches. Poorly written software can allow cybercriminals to move into the corporate network and wreak havoc, be it through business email compromise (BEC), ransomware etc.

The report concludes that software quality often lags behind other projects in most organizations.

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.