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Strategies to the Prediction, Mitigation and Management of Product Obsolescence by Michael G. Pecht, Peter Sandborn, Ulrich Ermel, Bjoern Bartels

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6.1 THE ROOT CAUSES OF SOFTWARE OBSOLESCENCE

To enable the forecasting and management of software obsolescence, the root causes of the obsolescence need to be identified. Software obsolescence is specific to how the software is being used within a system. Figure 6-1 shows the root causes of software obsolescence. The three general causes of software obsolescence are categorized as technological, functional, and logistical and will be referred to as obsolescence modes. The next hierarchal-level down groups similar root causes of software obsolescence into what are referred to here as mechanisms. The purchase obsolescence mechanism includes obsolescence root causes that pertain primarily to purchasing issues such as the inability to purchase a legal copy of the software or the problem of not getting extensions to software licenses. The support mechanism has to do with obsolescence root causes that arise when the technical support of software ends or when updates or patches are no longer created for a software application. The compatibility mechanism deals with problems that develop when changes in either software or hardware result in an incompatibility between the two, eventually limiting or terminating the functionality of the system. The infrastructure mechanism includes problems that arise when the tools needed to build, test, and integrate the software with other software applications become unavailable. The distribution mechanism encompasses problems that arise when the access ...

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