Information Technology Initiatives Easier Said Than Done

According to an Op-Ed in the NY Times today by Nicholas Carr who wrote “Does IT Matter,”…

“In 1994, researchers found, only 16 percent [of software intiatives] were completed were completed on time, on budget and fulfilling the original specifications. Nearly a third were canceled outright, and the remainder fell short of their objectives. More than half of the cost overruns amounted to at least 50 percent of the original budget. Of the projects that went off schedule, almost half took more than twice as long as originally planned. A follow-up survey in 2003, however, showed that corporate software projects were doing better; researchers found that the percentage of successful projects had risen to 34 percent.

What happened between 1994 and 2003? The Internet boom went bust. Stung by wasted investments in complicated software systems, business executives began taking a more skeptical view of such projects. They scaled back their expectations, pursuing more modest software enhancements with narrower goals – and far higher chances of success.”

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