So where do we go from here? COTS software obsolescence is neither well understood nor managed today, and the specific impacts on system software are largely ignored throughout the existing DMSMS tool/database set. In reality, DMSMS is a hardware/software co-sustainment problem, not just a hardware sustainment problem. In existing tools, systems are treated as disembodied BOMs with little or no coupling from part to part and little functional knowledge of the operation of the system. Software obsolescence (and its connection to hardware obsolescence) is not well defined, and current DMSMS planning tools are not generally capable of capturing the connection between hardware and software.
Few, if any, system development and support organizations actually track and manage software obsolescence. Systems engineering approaches to concurrently manage software and hardware obsolescence are virtually nonexistent, and there are no formal organizations sharing obsolescence data and information on software. Various DMSMS working groups throughout industry and the defense community have only just started to address the management of software obsolescence impacts and welcome discussion on this topic.
Constraints imposed on the management of software obsolescence are also not well understood. The functional dependency between software and hardware and its effect on obsolescence management constraints further complicates this matter. The obsolescence of either software or hardware ...