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A Trend Towards Lower Software Maintenance Budgets?

Frank Martinig
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 12, 2004
Posts: 59
Software maintenance is an important part of the software development activity, but it is also the less discussed. A recent poll seems to show that the part of maintenance in software development budget is going down. Why?

Question: what percentage of your software development budget is devoted to maintenance. Maintenance is defined as process of correcting, enhancing and optimising deployed software.

25% or less of the budget ...........37%
26% to 50% of the budget ............27%
51% to 75% of the budget ............24%
more than 75% of the budget .........12%

Number of participants: 433

The annual maintenance costs in the US are estimated at over $ 70 billion. According to the different studies produced in the last century, maintenance should cost between 66% and 90% of the total life cycle costs. We can see in our survey that the majority of the participants estimate their maintenance budget below the 50% threshold. If we accept that these numbers are representative of a modified situation, many hypothesis can be made to explain it.

Go to to see these reasons and get more resources on software maintenance.

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It is sorta covered in the JavaRanch Style Guide.
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