Does Revamping Your IT System Scare You?

Okay, so we’ve all heard the horror stories of spending an inordinate amount of money to restructure, recreate or revamp an existing system only to discover that you’ve only made the situation worse. Well, here is one of those such stories that I found today...

Apparently the Los Angeles Unified School District bought a new, customized IT system that had a hefty price tag of $95 million dollars. Its goal was to replace a hodge-podge of other inferior and outdated systems and the new one would eventually be responsible for creating and issuing paychecks for 95,000 employees. These employees ranged from teachers to administration personnel and school support staff.

It turned out to be a disaster.

The new system was bogged down with errors caused by “inaccurate and conflicting data” and was plagued by technological issues and internal employee strife. Older systems could not interface with it. There were also “lack of internal oversights within the district” and various other problems that hampered this money pit from the very first day.

This new system created headaches across the board as some employees were underpaid, others overpaid and some employee data was just inexplicably erased. One year later--and to the tune of another $37 million dollars--the problems were eventually solved, but at what cost?

What went wrong? Well here is the article with all the details, in case you are curious:

http://www.workforce.com/section/10/feature/26/06/79/

Suffice it to state that when it comes to payroll, or any other IT system you are looking to build, if your solution is broken or fails to operate efficiently and accurately then you will definitely be the first to hear about it. It isn’t like some piece of machinery that can be “jury rigged” to operate temporarily until a time chosen by management to replace it.

When it comes to new IT projects or streamlining your company’s payroll, in my opinion perhaps it is best not to take the lowest bid, but take the solution that offers you the security and piece of mind that your payroll is being conducted with the most accuracy and in the safest manner possible. Also have the right people in charge of the project. Experience in such cases can mean everything.

It is worth knowing your company will not enter into days, weeks or months of utter chaos when flipping the switch.

--C. Cook

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