IT systems have always been complex, and integrating these systems into the operations of an organization is a perennial challenge. However, the data shows a growing increase in cost overruns, schedule delays, and outright failures. A recent study of federal programs by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found numerous examples of both defense and civilian technology projects that each spent hundreds of millions of dollars—in some cases, billions of dollars—only to be terminated without delivering any of their planned capabilities. The scale and scope of these technology failures is truly staggering.
However, there is another kind of failure that is much more insidious and difficult to measure, yet potentially is even more damaging—systems that are delivered but fail to perform as needed. This is the true systems delivery challenge.
Through Booz Allen’s work with government and business clients, and our own research and analysis into ways to improve the overall process, we have identified a number of new, emerging factors that have the potential to change fundamentally the business of delivering systems.