Comparing Private and Public Sector on Information Systems Development and Maintenance Efficiency

  • John Krogstie
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 7443)


This paper provides a comparison between public and private organizations on key figures relative to the information systems support activities. Many have claimed that public sector has a less satisfactory conduct of information system support than private sector. In this article we present selected data from survey investigations performed among Norwegian organizations on how they conduct information systems development and maintenance. This investigation has earlier been compared with similar investigations of this sort. A major finding from the previous comparisons is that even if we witness large changes in the underlying implementation technology and approaches used, a number of aspects such as the overall percentage of time used for maintaining and evolving systems in production compared to time used for development is remarkably stable. When we compare public and private organizations in the last survey, we find a small difference on some variables, but these are not statistically significant, thus cannot be used to conclude that IT development and evolutions is conducted more poorly in public sector than in private sector.


e-government information systems development and maintenance public vs. private sector 


  1. 1.
    Benestad, H.C., Anda, B.C.D., Arisholm, E.: Understanding software maintenance and evolution by analyzing individual changes: A literature review. Journal of Software Maintenance and Evolution: Research and Practice (2009)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Boehm, B., Sullivan, K.: Software economics: status and prospect. Information and Software Technology 41(14), 937–946 (1999)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Brooks, F.P.: No silver bullet. IEEE Computer 20(4), 10–19 (1987)MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Chapin, N.: Software Maintenance Types – A Fresh View. In: Proceedings of the International Conference on Software Maintenance (ICSM 2000), pp. 247–252 (2000)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Chapin, N., Hale, J., Khan, K., Ramil, J., Tan, W.-T.: Types of Software Evolution and Software Maintenance. Journal of Software Maintenance Vol 13, 3–30 (2001)zbMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Davidsen, M.K., Krogstie, J.: A longitudinal study of development and maintenance. Information and Software Technology 52(7), 707–719 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Davidsen, M., Krogstie, J.: Information Systems Evolution over the Last 15 Years. In: Pernici, B. (ed.) CAiSE 2010. LNCS, vol. 6051, pp. 296–301. Springer, Heidelberg (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Flak, L.S., Dertz, W., Jansen, A., Krogstie, J., Ølnes, S., Spjelkavik, I.: What is the Value of eGovernment - and How can we actually realize it. Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy 3(3), 220–226 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Følstad, A., Jørgensen, H., Krogstie, J.: User Involvement in e-Government Development Projects. Paper Presented at the NordiChi 2004 Tampere, Finland (2004)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Galtung, J.: Theory and Method of Social Research, Universitetsforlaget, Norway (1967)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Gupta, A.: The Profile of Software Changes in Reused vs. Non-reused Industrial Software Systems. Doctoral Thesis 2009:90 NTNU (2009)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Gupta, A., Slyngstad, O.P., Conradi, R., Mohagheghi, P., Rønneberg, H., Landre, E.: An Empirical Study of Software Changes in Statoil ASA - Origin, Priority Level and Relation to Component Size. In: Proceedings of ICSEA, October 29 - November 03, p. 12. IEEE Computer Society, Washington, DC (2006)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Heeks, R.: Implementing and Managing eGovernment. Sage (2006)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Holgeid, K.K., Krogstie, J., Sjøberg, D.I.K.: A study of development and maintenance in Norway: Assessing the efficiency of information systems support using functional maintenance. Information and Software Technology 42, 687–700 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    IEEE Standard Glossary of Software Engineering Terminology (1991)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Jones, C.: The Economics of Software Maintenance in the Twenty First Century (2006), (last accessed March 2012 )
  17. 17.
    Jørgensen, M.: Empirical Studies of Software Maintenance. PhD Thesis University of Oslo, Research Report 188 (1994) ISBN 82-7368-098-3Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Kitchenham, B.A., Pfleeger, S.L., Pickard, L.M., Jones, P.W., Hoaglin, D.C., Rosenberg, J.: Preliminary guidelines for empirical research in software engineering. IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering 28(8), 721–734 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Krogstie, J., Sølvberg, A.: Software maintenance in Norway: A survey investigation. In: Muller, H., Georges, M. (eds.) Proceedings of the International Conference on Software Maintenance (ICSM 1994), pp. 304–313. IEEE CS, Victoria (1994)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Krogstie, J.: Use of methods and CASE-tools in Norway: Results from a survey. Journal of Automated Software Engineering 3, 347–367 (1996)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Krogstie, J.: On the distinction between functional development and functional maintenance. Journal of Software Maintenance 7, 383–403 (1995)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Krogstie, J., Jahr, A., Sjøberg, D.I.K.: A Longitudinal Study of Development and Maintenance in Norway: Report from the 2003 Investigation. Information and Software Technology 48, 993–1005 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Krogstie, J.: Work distribution, Methodology, and Technology for ISD and Maintenance: Trends over the last 30 years. In: Avison, D., Elliot, S., Krogstie, J., Pries-Heje, J. (eds.) IFIP WCC TC8, pp. 131–142. Springer, Santiago (2006)Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Moløkken-Østvold, K.: Effort and schedule estimation of software development projects. PhD thesis, University of Oslo, Norway (2004)Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Lee, M.-G., Jefferson, T.L.:An Empirical Study of Software Maintenance of a Web-Based Java Application. In: Proceedings ICSM 2005 (2005)Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Lehman, M.M.: Laws of Software Evolution Revisited. In: Montangero, C. (ed.) EWSPT 1996. LNCS, vol. 1149, pp. 108–124. Springer, Heidelberg (1996)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Lientz, B.P., Swanson, E.B., Tompkins, G.E.: Characteristics of application software maintenance. Communications of the ACM 21(6), 466–471 (1978)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Lientz, B.P., Swanson, E.B.: Software Maintenance Management. Addison Wesley (1980)Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Nosek, J.T., Palvia, P.: Software maintenance management: Changes in the last decade. Journal of Software Maintenance 2, 157–174 (1990)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    PASC: Government and IT – “a recipe for rip-offs”: time for a new approach, vol. I (July 28, 2011), (accessed March 15, 2012)
  31. 31.
    Rajlich, V.T., Bennett, K.H.: A staged Model for the Software Life Cycle. IEEE Computer 33, 66–71 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Saunders, M., Lewis, P., Thornhill, A.: Research methods for business students, 5th edn. Pearson Education Limited, London (2009)Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Schach, S.R., Jin, B., Yu, L., Heller, G.Z., Offutt, J.: Determining the Distribution of Maintenance Categories: Survey versus Measurement. Empirical Software Engineering 8(4), 351–365 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Sousa, H., Moreira, H.: A Survey of the Software Maintenance Process. In: Proceedings of ICSM 1998, pp. 268–274. IEEE CS Press Bethesda, Maryland (1998)Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Swanson, E.B.: The dimensions of maintenance. In: Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Software Engineering, San Francisco, USA, pp. 492–497 (August 1976)Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Swanson, E.B., Beath, C.M.: Maintaining Information Systems in Organizations. Wiley Series in Information Systems. John Wiley & Sons (1989)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Krogstie
    • 1
  1. 1.IDI, NTNUTrondheimNorway

Personalised recommendations