Global 'IT debt' hits $500 billion, on the way to $1 trillion

©IDG Communications, Inc. Photo contributed by Matthew Mikaelian.

Network World, 9/23/10

Global “IT debt” will reach $500 billion this year and could rise to $1 trillion by 2015, Gartner analysts have estimated.

IT debt is essentially the cost of maintenance needed to bring all applications up to date. Five-hundred billion dollars would be needed to clear “the backlog of maintenance … required to bring the corporate applications portfolio to a fully supported current release state,” Gartner says.

IT debt as Gartner defines it is unlikely to be wiped out completely, even in stronger economic times, because technology departments will always prioritize certain applications over others. But Gartner — which also recently advised CIOs to plan for a second recession — claims the debt is higher than ever before and that the maintenance backlog represents a serious risk to business systems.

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