Large IT-"catastrophies" over the years?

cstromme

macrumors regular
Original poster
Feb 26, 2007
162
0
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
 

BoyBach

macrumors 68040
Feb 24, 2006
3,023
2
UK
I don't see how Boo.com applies to the OP's question.

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-Com-Story/dp/0099418371/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1220474598&sr=8-1
 

Queso

Suspended
Mar 4, 2006
11,826
7
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.
 

Tosser

macrumors 68030
Jan 15, 2008
2,677
1
The IT-problems which arose after A.P. Møller-Mærsk purchased P&O Nedlloyd?
 

ChrisA

macrumors G4
Jan 5, 2006
11,609
408
Redondo Beach, California
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,
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-Month-Software-Engineering-Anniversary/dp/0201835959/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1220485057&sr=8-1
 

cstromme

macrumors regular
Original poster
Feb 26, 2007
162
0
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. :)
 

r1ch4rd

macrumors 6502a
Aug 5, 2005
980
1
Manchester UK
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.