Texas Governor Rick Perry has suspended the transfer of state files to IBM IT systems and fined the company $900,000 for data lost through back-up failures. In 2005, Texas began an $863m, seven-year outsourcing contact with IBM. Currently, 27 agencies are managed by IBM or transitioning to IBM control. In July a server crash in …
More likely reason.
> IBM failed to back-up data properly at more than 20 agencies.
I doubt it. More likely, the TX state employees failed to follow instructions ... If there is anything worse at following rules than a MarketingDepartment^W Federal Government, it's a State Government. Or was that a trade union?
Who cares. Six of one, half a dozen of another ... hang 'em all! :-)
Another day in outsource paradise
Yeah, let's take your typical I.T. function that is already under funded, hand it to an outsourcer and expect them to run it and make a profit using less budget than originally supplied
That has just got to work.
When will people learn that outsourcing NEVER works. It is an management declaration of failure to do their own job, but let the little guy take the pain.
The more abstract from ownership people feel, the less inclined they are to put due dillignence into the support they provide; it is simple psychology. I still cannot believe that people are surprised by these stories.
The list is endless:
Over budget and not delivered
Over budget, not delivered, but the tax payer has to buy them out
Cancelled contracts with tax payer buyout
Over budget but delivered with reduced scope
Lost data in the post
Lost data in the pub
Outsourcing, Just lost...
Well fancy that
An outsourcer takes on a contract, takes the money, and then nobody (neither customer, nor supplier) bothers checking that important elements of the service are being delivered as contractually agreed.
"Trust, but verify".
The news here isn't that this failure happened (in my experience it happens relatively frequently), but that news of the failure actually got out into the outside world, *and* compensation is involved.
It was working until YOU got there
During the contract negotiations, I wouldn't be suprised if the question of whether there was a comprehensive backup strategy and whether or not that was rigourously followed was asked and answered with a resounding "why yes, of course". So outsourcer thinks - "good, nothing to worry about there then".
And whilst they need to do due diligence, you can imagine the howls of the unions if the outsourcer had proposed a drains-up review of every process and implementation - especially something as fundamental as backups, let alone if they wanted to propose changes to working practices.
Or perhaps it was all working perfectly until the outsourcer came along and dismantled it all.
I've no idea either way, just wondering....
Re: Another day in outsource paradise
Here, here! Outsourcing certainly isn't a panacea and generally doesn't save companies or origanizations what they think it will. Personally, I can't believe so many groups are still using ITO, but clearly us IT peons can't see the big picture that upper management does (even though they can't see the anemic forest for the cheaper trees).
Paris, because she's one of the true outsourcers and insourcers.
Too Stupid to Learn ...
The story says "Texas fines IBM for 'crucial back-ups' failure" and that failure is therefore not undeliberate and there must be something to hide/lose/erase/whatever. Although surely even they know that there is always a forensic trail to follow/reverse engineer.
I Backup More ?
So I used to work for a state agency....
One day our Oracle DBA was called by the Oracle DBA from the Dept. of Safety wanting to know how to do a restore from tape (1st sign something was really wrong). Our DBA walked him through it and when it was done it was discovered that the data was 6 months out of date. Multiple phone calls and remote sessions later it was discovered that the backups had been failing for the past 6 months. No one had set up any alerts on the server and no one had been monitoring it since it had been implemented. Gov't salaries in my State are notoriously sub-industry standard (though the State Employees Union would have you believe you had the best salary/benefits package in the world thanks to them) so I guess you could say they got what they paid for. On the plus side a friend of mine had a couple of speeding tickets mysteriously disappear from his record....
Really agree about the issues with outsourcing, as companies are trying to save cost they don't want to spend money on someone monitoring the contract so in effect they agree to do things 'on trust' and we all know the response to 'just trust me'
I cringe at the people who just look at the pure cost and ignore service, reputation and other intangibles. Just because you can't put a direct cost on something doesn't mean it doesn't exist.
As a statistics lecture I know used to say when someone gave him an answer of 5.34 units, how exactly do you make .34 of a unit, seems they just don't teach people to think beyond the calculated answer these days.
I have worked mostly in outsourcing and I don't understand why anyone does it.
Sure for small things (at small companies) it is cheaper to buy in skills but for normal support functions and long term I cannot see how it can be better than in house.
An Anonymous Cow Herd Party Today
How is it that the big American outsource companies believe they can continue paying underskilled employees sub-par wages, forever, without having such uglies happen, is beyond me. Seriously.
@ the 4th Anonymous above's comment "you can imagine the howls of the unions": There are no IT-specific unions in the US (at least none that I, as a life-long American, has ever heard of), so you must be non-IT unions. Funny thing is, Texas is a Right-To-Work-State, which means there are no unions that aren't national (like teachers or truckers), and employers here (yes, I'm also Texan) are completely out of control.
I agree with 9th Anonymous above's comment that the only way this ITO roundabout (yes, I know what a traffic circle is!) insanity is ever going to end is if voters/shareholders insist:
>>>Stop it. Just stop it. We've seen ITO fail on every single implementation, ever.<<<
Rinse and repeat as necessary.
IBM kit failing?
Not the first time I've heard about IBM kit failing. Boeing has switched a lot of kit over to IBM from SUN. Simply put, the IBM servers crash a lot more than the SUN servers did. Simply put, it's not always the lowly IT peon that's the root cause of the problem, despite the majority of the comments above.
Let me make a brief statement here about "cloud computing" and applications served up over the Internet. This is all fine and good, at least until the server crashes. Then everyone gets to sit on their hands and do their computing the old-fashioned way. Pencil and paper.
(Now that all SUN employees have a nice SUNRay on their desk, I remember far to many times when the CTO left the building grumbling when the server farm decided to roll over and play dead for the day.)
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