If we were forgetting how critical are the massive computer systems that help run our society, then this headline is a massive wake-up call. Montreal’s CGI faces scrutiny over troubled Obamacare site.
This is unforgiveable as Uwe E. Reinhardt of the New York Times reminds us.
Anyone familiar with corporate management would have thought that for as ambitious and technically a complex project as the initial rollout of HealthCare.gov, the chief executive would have remained in very close touch with the management team overseeing the project.
Such computers or Information Technology handle huge amounts of data and must give access to thousands of people at the same time. Developing the most efficient and reliable computer systems with limited budgets require innovative IT management solutions to cope with the stringent requirements.
Such solutions should cover in adequate depth all of the following steps:
- Assemble the operational team including all necessary disciplines and skills
- Determine the detailed needs including the traffic and data that must be handled
- Select the technological solution including a detailed and costed equipment list
- Develop the system definitions and master plan
- Complete all program development with full-scale testing to ensure all needs are fully met
- Real life testing starting on a very limited basis and working up to full load
Unfortunately this process apparently was not handled as it should have been for HealthCare.gov. The result is disastrous for clients and for those responsible for creating the system. Hopefully the serious glitches will be corrected as soon as is possible.
Photo credit: computer farm image courtesy of digidreamgrafix via FreeDigitalPhotos.net