The Dog’s Bollocks

Truth is like a dog’s bollocks – pretty obvious if you care to look.

Mismanaging IT systems

What is it with mega IT information system upgrades that cost unbelievable amounts of money and fail to deliver? The latest is a $320 million IT program to help streamline Victoria’s health system which is running late and over budget, a new report has found. Crickey! I would have taken it on for $32 million. It’s only databasing — not rocket science or brain surgery. It seems the larger the project, the less likely it is to work. We also have Victoria’s public transport ticketing system. They’ve been trying to build a successful one since the days of Jeff Kennett and still haven’t succeeded!! How hard can it be?

Other notable IT system failures include the recent opening of the new passenger terminal at Heathrow. The switch was flicked and 14,000 pieces of luggage was lost in three days and 100s of flights cancelled. Doesn’t anyone test these things or have a fail-safe fallback position (Information Systems 101)???

Of course we had our own Customs IT makeover a few years ago. The switch was thrown and it fell over. Shipping trade was disrupted for months afterwards while it was sorted out. And then there was the $40 million student enrollment system at RMIT that failed spectacularly. I reckon I could have whipped one up or $40k, certainly for a lazy $4 million.

Perhaps it’s a reflection of the general ignorance of management when it comes to IT. IT consultants may as well be talking in Sanskrit. In my own little IT world, my immediate employers really haven’t a clue. I could tell them anything and they have little choice but to have faith in my recommendations and purchasing decisions. I suspect this is magnified with the size of the budget. I guess sharp-dressing, smooth-talking, Porche driving IT salespeople is about all it takes to convince those responsible for the budget that they know what they’re talking about. Who wants to admit they haven’t a clue about assessing the merits of a major ICT program? At the federal level we still have Ministers talking about filtering the internet to block out undesirable content!

Unbelievable! All the more reason to invest in teaching ICT in schools. Maybe in a generation or so we will have a management class who even begin to have a clue about digital technology and information systems.

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The Dog’s Bollocks

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