The cost of IT failure

The worldwide cost of IT failure is $6.2 trillion, according to Roger Sessions. His numbers are based on a set of assumptions which he outlines in a white paper, but as ZDNet’s Michael Krigsman points out, the details are unimportant. It’s the scale that’s scary. Last year, Krigsman reported that 68% of IT projects fail, another scary statistic.

My own experience is that when it comes to social media, IT departments range from reluctant to obstructive. And some IT decisions defy sense. In one case, £14 million had been earmarked for a Sharepoint installation, whilst a wiki project costing £4,000 was having to ‘prove its worth’. I’ve seen IT departments point blank refuse to install any social media, even when asked by the CEO.

When, I wonder, did IT become the problem?

And yes, I’m fully aware of the fact that some very good people work in IT, and that they have to deal with a lot of problems of their own, and that not all IT departments are short-sighted idiots.

But given that, how is it that, generally speaking, they are busy losing $6.2 trillion and that 66% of their projects fail? IT needs a radical rethink, part of which has to be to answer the question, “What is IT for?” Is it just about maintaining network integrity? Or is it to solve business problems with the appropriate technology, if such technology exists?

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