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A scoffed programming language is indirectly preventing some Americans from receiving unemployment or pandemic-related stimulus checks — and based on ZoomInfo’s data, the problem is deeply entrenched in state and federal agencies.

The antagonist? A business software called Common Business-Oriented Language, better known by its acronym, COBOL. While not exactly public enemy №1 — with the coronavirus still out there⁠ — COBOL is proving to be a nemesis all on its own.

Here’s what ZoomInfo found:

  • 67 federal departments, agencies, and sub-agencies use COBOL, including the U.S. Treasury, IRS, State Department, and NASA.
  • 45 of the 50 states and the District of Columbia also run COBOL.

ZoomInfo determined these findings by analyzing its database of companies, which includes governments, and filtering the results against technographics data that shows COBOL programming in use.

Pie chart showing that COBOL is used in the majority of state governments.
Figure 1: COBOL is used in the majority of state governments.

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About the author

Scott Wallask

Scott Wallask is Director of Content at ZoomInfo, the leading business contact database and sales intelligence solution.

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