Bookshelf: Why New Systems Fail: Theory and Practice Collide

By Phil Simon, AuthorHouse, 2009, 246 pages, $22.98

Why do organizations continue to struggle in activating new IT systems? Even for those that meet their basic time and calendar objectives, many do not provide end-users with the benefits and features initially anticipated. As many as three out of five systems can be affected, the book contends.

Software consultant and author Phil Simon evaluates why organizations routinely fail while attempting to implement and upgrade systems. "Senior executives expect their organizations to activate new systems on time and under budget, but more often than not, their expectations are unfulfilled. Given the current economic conditions, organizations more than ever need to minimize system-related risks."

The book focuses on new systems as well as on mature enterprise systems. With regard to the latter, Simon points out that in many organizations, existing systems can be failures waiting to happen. He says even employee turnover can trigger failure.

The author examines in great detail the root causes of system failures. The objective is to help the reader devise a framework for minimizing IT system failure. Topics include:

  • Determining if an organization is ready to implement a new IT system,
  • Overcoming data, technology and people obstacles,
  • Selecting the best consultancy,
  • Identifying the root causes of system failures,
  • Ensuring the greatest chance of success.

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