Author Topic: Why US government IT fails so hard, so often  (Read 1382 times)

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Offline EC

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Why US government IT fails so hard, so often
« on: October 14, 2013, 02:07:48 AM »
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Online Oceander

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Re: Why US government IT fails so hard, so often
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2013, 12:05:33 AM »
I really liked XP - particularly the fact that it stuck around for so long and was a very mature OS - but it was leaky as h*ll in anything other than a tightly-controlled enterprise environment and I cannot fathom running anything internet-accessible on it other than a personal website run just for funsies.  I have an ersatz home server I built on top of an old XP-based desktop, but it never, ever gets to see the internet, or anything outside of my local intranet.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2013, 12:06:20 AM by Oceander »

Offline AbaraXas

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Re: Why US government IT fails so hard, so often
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2013, 12:20:38 AM »
If you want to see an absolute mess that looks like first year programmers hacked together on a drunken weekend by copying and pasting chunks of script they found on a dozen different sites, go to healthcare.gov > right click > view page source.

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Re: Why US government IT fails so hard, so often
« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2013, 12:26:20 AM »
I was appointed to manage a study for a multinational corporation's "new" Payroll-Personal system. We were to start with domestic entities, and later to international locations.

I had no experience, so they first sent me to a seminar at IBM Hq. in NYC. I was chosen, because I was from the Finance user side. Other users, IT Dept. leads, were under me. We also retained a few "experts" from Arthur Andersen (a complete story in itself).

It was highly political, with each entity wanting to play a big role, as opposed to a top down approach. After a couple of years, we had largely failed.

System development to replace existing systems is really hard to do. We  investigated off-the-shelf systems from leading companies of the era, like Peachtree. But each was found not sufficient for the specifics of our business. Did I say we failed, I failed.

A few years when I was gone, a friend was given a similar assignment for Financial systems. He failed, too.

I hated it, and wanted to be done with it. I can imagine doing it in a government environment is beyond comprehension, considering the infighting, responsibility avoidance, risk aversion, etc.

Obama and his supporting team of hyper-political flunkies have their hands full. They picked an inexperienced firm, but the system architecture is now set.

They will probably patch the turkey, tell us it is running fine, but it won't be fine.
"God must love the common man, he made so many of them.�  Abe Lincoln

Offline AbaraXas

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Re: Why US government IT fails so hard, so often
« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2013, 12:34:18 AM »
.....and the idiots didn't lock down their databases. Personal data can be accessed.

https://data.healthcare.gov/dataset/Navigators/qyne-xyvd

Pretty much all the raw data that goes through the site can be accessed via here:

https://data.healthcare.gov/


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Re: Why US government IT fails so hard, so often
« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2013, 12:46:42 AM »
I'd like to listen in to Obama lecturing the heads of major health insurance firms.
"God must love the common man, he made so many of them.�  Abe Lincoln

Offline Rapunzel

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Re: Why US government IT fails so hard, so often
« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2013, 12:59:22 AM »
I'd like to listen in to Obama lecturing threatening the heads of major health insurance firms.

Fixed it - this is more like it

Offline Rapunzel

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Re: Why US government IT fails so hard, so often
« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2013, 01:09:07 AM »
Our IT was in-house.  Everytime they tweaked something we ended up with more holes than you could shake a fist at. One time error reports stopped generating.  Everyone was giving themselves high-fives - gee we're doing such a great job, no one is making any mistakes.  I insisted this was not possible that something was wrong.. IT insisted nothing was wrong -- finally after I kept making a fuss they went in and looked and oops... they had a stop point in the system for errors and we'd reached it so .. ta da... quit kicking out error reports there was errors alright, just in a black hole.

Then wesuddenly had some major inventory out of balance and I insisted something had changed in the system and it was not calculating correctly between the different journals at month-end...  again they said "not possible."   I finally set down and literally tracked the movement of individual part numbers from beginning to end and proved to them that one of the journals which was supposed to be acting as a credit to inventory was debiting inventory so inventory was getting debited twice for the parts...  one thing about IT - their system tweaks are NEVER the problem  /s


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