Summary of Why New Systems Fail

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Why New Systems Fail book summary

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Performance problems, cost overruns and schedule delays occur in 60% of IT implementations, whether new, replacement or maintenance installations. Speaking to both novice and experienced IT consultants and users, IT expert Phil Simon diagnoses the dysfunction that leads to high failure rates. Using detailed case studies and expert explanations of technology management, he offers guidelines telling your organization how to adapt its IT projects to anticipate roadblocks and avoid catastrophe. He includes tables that organize the factors in making IT project decisions, delineate levels of project complexity, offer cost comparisons, summarize sources of failure, and illustrate instructive case studies. In addition to his insightful heuristics for analyzing complex projects, he shows why you might select certain vendors or off-the-shelf software tools. Simon provides rules of thumb – not technical absolutes – and offers an extensive, helpful glossary. This manual should remain useful and current until the next wave of IT infrastructure technology evolves with the advancement of cloud computing. getAbstract recommends Simon’s plain-English guide to avoiding IT implementation derailment to CIOs, technical officers, infrastructure managers, purchasing executives and anyone involved in IT implementation.

About the Author

IT speaker and writer Phil Simon consults in various industries, including retail and health care.


Major IT Projects

Managers must choose their informational technology (IT) projects to align with their company’s goals, budgets and available technology. Organizations across a range of sizes, missions and complexities all need functional processes for accounting, payroll, customer information and IT. Sometimes, firms need new IT systems, or they need to replace or augment various elements in an existing system. The complexity makes each undertaking unique, but all IT implementation projects have the same goal: to gain the desired functionality on time and in budget.

Organizations often operate with “legacy systems” that met their past business needs but no longer provide sufficient capacity. The ubiquitous but clumsy spreadsheet is an example of an outdated system. Managers may decide to upgrade or replace spreadsheet functions based on a company’s growth or on external changes, including the need for more efficient and less costly technology. First diagnose your needs, such as to implement better accounting tools, meet new regulatory requirements, set up more streamlined operating data or generate more detailed financial reports.

To integrate such functions...

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