A 2011 draws to a close, it helps to remember our major blunders so we don’t repeat them next year. And the world of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software implementation shows a lot of high profile IT projects running off the mark. Here are a few of the biggest ERP headaches in 2011.
Last September saw the UK government finally pull the plug off what can be considered the country’s most expensive IT project, costing the NHS an estimated £12 billion (US$18.7 billion). It was a futile attempt to create a national health record system for all UK citizens that started back in 2002. U.K.’s Major Projects Authority recommended the scrapping after it found the project “not fit to provide the modern IT services that the NHS needs.” Michael Krigsman, CEO of Asuret, an IT consulting firm said, “They tried to impose a centralized solution onto just an enormous geographic and political base. It was a massive undertaking filled with political differences and technical failures, and in the end it serves as an example of what not to do.”
New York’s ambitious CityTime payroll project started with a reasonable $63 million budget that ballooned to $760 million due to mismanaged cost overruns and alleged kickbacks involving employees integrator SAIC and subcontractor TechnoDyne. In June, city officials indicted Padma and Reddy Allen, TechnoDyne executives along with a number of SAIC employees.
In May, Oracle found itself sued by Montclair State University in New Jersey for botching an IT implementation project for a PeopleSoft application meant to upgrade the university’s problematic legacy system. The alleged misdeeds from Oracle might shoot the budget to $20 million just to get it completed, claimed Montclair. Oracle fired back counter-claiming it was the school’s fault. Montclair recently amended its complaint adding more details that included a rigged software demo during the sales and extortion allegations.
In February, Marin County officials sued, SAP and Deloitte Consulting and SAP in a California federal court, alleging they had “engaged in a pattern of racketeering activity” that siphoned off more than $20 million involving a failed ERP project. The charges sought damages of $35 million which could triple under the statutes.