Large IT-"catastrophies" over the years?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by cstromme, Sep 3, 2008.

  1. cstromme macrumors regular

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    #1
    I'm trying to find some good stories of large IT-catastrophies over the years, more specifically in implementing information systems where nothing worked like it should, or they went WAAAY over budget or similar. This is for my "Development of Information Systems" class.

    Anybody got any good links or know of any good stories? Extra points for humorous stories! :p
     
  2. BoyBach macrumors 68040

    BoyBach

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  3. TEG macrumors 604

    TEG

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    #3
    I don't see how Boo.com applies to the OP's question.

    TEG
     
  4. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

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    #4
    Actually it seems to apply.
     
  5. OscarTheGrouch macrumors 6502

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    #5
    I don't suppose we could consider windows a catastrophe could we?


    I think cuil is going to be the next big one.
     
  6. jeremy.king macrumors 603

    jeremy.king

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  7. BoyBach macrumors 68040

    BoyBach

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    #7

    The OP asked for examples of "large IT-catastrophies"(sic), "information systems where nothing worked like it should" and "they went WAAAY over budget or similar".

    Boo used technology that wouldn't work effectively at the time, had inept management and communication between departments and went out of business having spent £125 million of investors funds in six months.

    I'd say it's a pretty good example of an IT cock up.


    By the way cstromme, one of founders wrote a book about the experience if you're interested: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Boo-Hoo-Dot...=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1220474598&sr=8-1
     
  8. Queso macrumors G4

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    #8
    Just look up any large-scale IT deployment attempted by the UK government. That ought to be enough on it's own.

    Here's a good starter. Also do a Google on the database that is supposed to be supporting the proposed national ID card scheme, which has cost estimates approaching £30bn before they even start it.
     
  9. keysersoze macrumors 68000

    keysersoze

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    #9
  10. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #10
    The only place I know to get a synopsis of this is in this book (PDF, starts on page 84), but this is a pretty spectacular one involving Apple and the early days of internet mail.

    http://www.simson.net/ref/ugh.pdf
     
  11. Tosser macrumors 68030

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    #11
    The IT-problems which arose after A.P. Møller-Mærsk purchased P&O Nedlloyd?
     
  12. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #12
    THE classic book on this subject is "The Mythical Man Month" by Brooks. Yes the book is old but that's just the way "classics" are.

    Don't avoid old books. Had the management at Microsoft read this book they would not have screwed up Vista. Microsoft's Vista is almost an exact playback of the problems IBM had that were documented in this book. No kidding. Just replace "IBM OS/360" with "Microsoft Vista" and the book would be current and up to date. Those who do not study history are doomed to repeat it. The book is such a classic that you might even loose points on a paper on IT screw ups that failed to at least reference it.

    http://www.amazon.com/Mythical-Man-...bs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1220485057&sr=8-1
     
  13. cstromme thread starter macrumors regular

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    Feb 26, 2007
    #13
    This thread is a goldmine! :)

    Thank you all for your help. I'll try to digest everything linked to here this weekend and see if I can't find something interesting to bring next week. :)
     
  14. r1ch4rd macrumors 6502a

    r1ch4rd

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    #14
    I can't find a link, but I think the child support agency paid around £400m for a computer system that they scrapped after a week a few years ago.
     
  15. LifeIsCheap macrumors regular

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    Sydney, Oz.
    #15

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