El legacy lastra los presupuestos TI de Estados Unidos

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El 75% de los presupuestos de TI el año pasado se dedicó a operaciones y mantenimiento, y el Departamento de Defensa utiliza Floppy Disk en tareas nucleares.

Andan revolucionados en Estados Unidos después de que la Government Accountability Office (GAO) haya dado la voz de alarma sobre lo que cuesta mantener los sistemas heredados, o legacy, algunos de más de 50 años.

Entre los ejemplos se menciona el Individual Master File y el Business Master File del Departamento del Tesoro, de más de 56 años. Los sistemas no son de poca importancia, ya que el primero es la fuente de datos oficial de los contribuyentes, en la que se actualizan las cuentas, se recogen los impuestos y se generan las devoluciones; mientras que el segundo es donde se retienen los datos fiscales y refleja un registro actualizado de la cuenta de cada contribuyente.

Y si este detalles sorprende, el siguiente pone los pelos de punta: el Departamento de Defensa sigue utilizando ordenadores IBM Series/1 y discos Floppy de ocho pulgadas para coordinar temas nucleares como los misiles balísticos intercontinentales, bombarderos nucleares y aviones cisterna de apoyo.

Dicen a través de un comunicado que se está llevando a cabo uyna iniciativa para modernizar, retirar y reemplazar sistemas obsoletos, y se ofrece una guía para cuyo desarrollo se ha pedido a cada agencia que identifique, priorice y muestre sus planes para modernizar sus TI.

Examples of Legacy Investments and Systems

Agency Investment or system Description Agency-reported age Specific, defined plans for modernization or replacement
Department of the Treasury Individual Master File The authoritative data source for individual taxpayers where accounts are updated, taxes are assessed, and refunds are generated. This investment is written in assembly language code—a low-level computer code that is difficult to write and maintain—and operates on an IBM mainframe. ~56 No – The agency has general plans to replace this investment, but there is no firm date associated with the transition.
Department of the Treasury Business Master File Retains all tax data pertaining to individual business income taxpayers and reflects a continuously updated and current record of each taxpayer’s account. This investment is also written in assembly language code and operates on an IBM mainframe. ~56 No – The agency has general plans to update this system, but there is no time frame established for this update.
Department of Defense Strategic Automated Command and Control System Coordinates the operational functions of the United States’ nuclear forces, such as intercontinental ballistic missiles, nuclear bombers, and tanker support aircrafts. This system runs on an IBM Series/1 Computer—a 1970s computing system—and uses 8-inch floppy disks. 53 Yes – The agency plans to update its data storage solutions, port expansion processors, portable terminals, and desktop terminals by the end of fiscal year 2017.
Department of Veterans Affairs Personnel and Accounting Integrated Data Automates time and attendance for employees, timekeepers, payroll, and supervisors. It is written in Common Business Oriented Language (COBOL)—a programming language developed in the 1950s and 1960s—and runs on IBM mainframes. 53 Yes – The agency plans to replace it with a project called Human Resources Information System Shared Service Center in 2017.
Department of Veterans Affairs Benefits Delivery Network Tracks claims filed by veterans for benefits, eligibility, and dates of death. This system is a suite of COBOL mainframe applications. 51 No – The agency has general plans to roll capabilities into another system, but there is no firm time frame associated with this transition.
Department of Justice Sentry Provides information regarding security and custody levels, inmate program and work assignments, and other pertinent information about the inmate population. The system uses COBOL and Java programming languages. 35 Yes – The agency plans to update the system through September 2016.
Social Security Administration Title II Systems Determines retirement benefits eligibility and amounts. The investment is comprised of 162 subsystems, some of which are written in COBOL. 31 Yes – The agency has ongoing modernization efforts, including one that is experiencing cost and schedule challenges due to the complexities of the legacy software.

Source: GAO analysis of IT Dashboard data, agency documentation, and interviews. || GAO-16-696T

 


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