Nextgov: GAO: Only 2 of the 10 Most Critical Legacy IT Systems Have Full Modernization Plans

“Nearly two years after the Government Accountability Office identified 10 legacy federal systems most critical to the respective agency’s mission and most in need of updating, eight of those agencies have yet to produce workable modernization plans.

The 10 systems range from 8 to 51 years old ‘and, collectively, cost about $337 million annually to operate and maintain,’ according to a GAO report released this week. Beyond cost, the aging systems are ‘operating with known security vulnerabilities and unsupported hardware and software,’ creating risks for the entire federal enterprise…”

“’Of the 10 agencies responsible for these legacy systems, GAO reported in June 2019 that seven agencies—the departments of Defense, Homeland Security, the Interior, the Treasury; as well as the Office of Personnel Management; Small Business Administration; and Social Security Administration—had documented plans for modernizing the systems,’ the report states…”

“Three agencies—the departments of Education, Transportation and Health and Human Services—have yet to develop modernization plans for their major systems…”

“’Education’s modernization plans were pending the results of a comprehensive IT visualization and engineering project that would determine which IT systems and services could be feasibly modernized, consolidated or eliminated,’ according to GAO. Similarly, ‘HHS had entered into a contract to begin a modernization initiative, but had not yet completed its plans,’ and ‘Transportation had solicited information from industry to determine whether the agency’s ideas for modernization were feasible.’…”

“’GAO stressed that, until the eight agencies established complete plans, their modernizations would face an increased risk of cost overruns, schedule delays, and project failure,’ the report states. ‘It is essential that agencies implement GAO’s recommendations and these plans in order to meet mission needs, address security risks, and reduce operating costs.’…” Read the full article here.

Source: GAO: Only 2 of the 10 Most Critical Legacy IT Systems Have Full Modernization Plans – By Aaron Boyd, April 29, 2021. Nextgov.

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