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System evolution is costly for several reasons:

1. Proposed changes have to be analyzed very carefully from a business and a technical perspective. Changes have to contribute to the goals of the system and should not simply be technically motivated.

2. Because subsystem are never completely independent, changes to one subsystem may adversely affect the performance or behavior of other subsystems. Consequent changes to these subsystems may therefore be needed.

3. The reasons for original design decisions are often unrecorded. Those responsible for the system evolution have to work our why particular design decisions were made.

4. As systems age, their structure typically becomes corrupted by change so the costs of making further changes increases.

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