Tag Archives: IT Errors

6 common IT practices that should be eliminated

EducationIn a past article, we explored the growing need for IT evolution and outlined 6 keys to a high-performing IT department. The fact is, keeping the lights on is no longer good enough. Modern IT organizations must move quickly, and drive the business forward.

However, I noticed a problem. While all of the keys outlined in that article will help IT departments improve performance, it ignores a critical issue: common IT practices that kill productivity and waste precious resources.

The fact is, you could follow each one of those points perfectly…yet still struggle. If your IT staff focuses its energy on time-wasting and resource-draining tasks, you’ll never drive the business forward. You’ll be caught in a never-ending cycle of being busy, yet ultimately unproductive.

So, what are these common time-wasting and resource-draining IT practices that must be eliminated? We posed that question to a few experts in the area, and have compiled their responses (as well as some of my own thoughts) below. Without further ado, here are 6 common IT practices that should be eliminated.
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10 worst tech decisions of all time

EducationI frequently run across articles listing “worst decisions” made by business leaders. I once viewed those articles as writers taking cheap shots at people who have failed…and maybe they are to some extent. However, I now look at them as an opportunity to learn from past mistakes. Understanding where others went wrong may help you avoid a bad decision in the future, and save your company from massive loss. Continue reading

12 biggest tech failures of the last decade

EducationI just saw an interesting article/slideshow highlighting the 12 biggest tech failures of the last decade. While I may not have agreed with everything in the list, I look at articles like these as a chance to learn from other’s mistakes.

For example, I notice that a few of these failures were the result of products being rushed to market before they were ready. As a result, they didn’t function correctly, and alienated users. With a little more patience and testing…who knows? Maybe they wouldn’t be on this list. Continue reading

IT Hall Of Shame, Part 2

Save MoneyInformationWeek recently published a follow-up to their popular “IT Hall of Shame” article, with another article: IT Hall of Shame, Part 2. This article lists some of the biggest flops and errors ever to grace the IT industry.

While these articles are interesting, they provide us with opportunities to learn from other people’s mistakes. When I see articles like this, I think, “What did they do wrong, and how can I avoid it?” Mistakes at these levels aren’t minor…they often cost millions of dollars. Continue reading

The worst software bugs in history

Productivity“Sometimes it pays to stay in bed on Monday, rather than spending the rest of the week debugging Monday’s code.” –Dan Salomon

Anyone who has ever worked in IT knows the pain of debugging, and is probably nodding in agreement to that quote. Debugging is often more time consuming than writing the code itself. Yet, even after all the time spent looking for and removing bugs, a few manage to slip by. Continue reading

How to drive customers away

Save MoneyDid you know that shoddy computer systems can actually drive customers away? Here’s an excellent example on consumerist.com, which illustrates how one company’s inept systems harmed business. In this case, it not only drove customers away, it drove those customers to warn other potential customers about them.

I found one point particularly interesting about the whole ordeal. The customer states that whenever they went into the store, they had to wait 20 minutes while an employee checked the warehouse stock levels. Today, that should be automatic. In fact, 1 minute is too long for something as simple as checking stock levels. Continue reading

How to alienate customers and create bad press

Save MoneyThe internet is like a bullhorn for your customers. In the past, if an angry customer told their friends and family, a company might lose a few sales. Today, offend a customer at your own risk. Customers have access to social media, forums, and sites like Consumerist or Yelp to air their grievances. One miffed customer can result in many lost dollars.

Nothing drives this point home better than the stories on Consumerist.com. Most of the stories focus on how a customer was mistreated or wronged by a company. However, I run across another type of story with alarming frequency: Customers that were wronged by a company’s computer system. Continue reading

6 reasons why IT projects fail

Save MoneyA successful IT project is one that is delivered on time, at or under budget, and working as originally planned. According to the Standish group, only 32% of IT projects are considered successful. Believe it or not, that’s an improvement over years past.

Why are most IT projects unsuccessful? I found a nice article entitled “Why IT projects fail” which lists 6 of the most important reasons for failure. I couldn’t agree more with the first point: Lack of user involvement. If your project will be used at all by end users, they must be involved early on. After all, a new system or application that end users can’t (or don’t want to) use is a waste of money. Continue reading

The IT hall of shame

Save MoneyInformationweek.com just put out an interesting list entitled, “The IT Hall of Shame“. It lists 10 of the biggest frauds, flops, and foibles in the tech industry.

Most every entry on this list have one thing in common: They cost their respective companies a bunch of money. So, when you look through the list, ask yourself, “What can I learn from this?” What did they do wrong, and how can we avoid it? Continue reading