New report, resource published on managing outdated government software applications

Sep 5, 2023

Public services of all types depend on specialized computer systems and information technology applications. However, all too often those applications are out of date. In fact, between 40 percent and 60 percent of Washington state’s government applications should be considered “legacy applications” according to Washington Technology Solutions, the state’s centralized provider of IT services.

These products use outdated technology and are often challenging to maintain. In addition to being slow, inefficient and more likely to fail, legacy applications face greater security threats when they are incompatible with modern security features.

However, transitioning to new software can be difficult and expensive for state agencies and local governments. The Office of the Washington State Auditor published a report today intended to help state agencies better identify legacy applications, analyze the risks they pose and plan for their replacement.

The Office also released a short resource for local governments summarizing leading practices to address legacy applications, including a quick guide to identifying out-of-date applications. You can find the resource here: Managing Outdated IT Applications.

Those leading practices were developed as part of an in-depth performance audit of three state agencies to see if they have procedures to identify legacy applications and address the risks associated with them. The report includes recommendations to develop a more uniform approach to identifying and tracking legacy applications at state agencies.

You can find the performance audit here: Controls to Manage Outdated IT Applications.

The State Auditor’s Office also offers a wide range of resources to help governments improve the way they manage IT applications. Learn more in the technology section of our Resource Library.

In addition to these resources, our Center for Government Innovation offers “cyber checkups,” which provide a fast and independent assessment of a local government’s vulnerability to common threats. Learn more on our #BeCyberSmart page.