Large-scale information technology projects can balloon to inconceivable figures very quickly with endless revisions, change orders and delays pushing budgets into the stratosphere. Sometimes the cost of an IT project can be measured simply in dollars, but just as often these projects costly in other ways -- in reputation, for example. With government projects, it's easy to look at the budget and see how much it costs -- or at least how much it's supposed to cost. In the private sector, it's not
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The ERA, begun in 1998, was an initiative to extend the National Archives and Records Administration's capabilities to include the U.S. Government's electronic records. After several years of research, Lockheed Martin was awarded a 6-year, $308 million contract in 2005 to build out the system. But late last year, a member of the House Archives subcommittee charged that the final system will cost a cool half billion more than originally projected.
Google in the Enterprise SurveyThere's no doubt Google has made headway into businesses: Just 28 percent discourage or ban use of its productivity products, and 69 percent cite Google Apps' good or excellent mobility. But progress could still stall: 59 percent of nonusers distrust the security of Google's cloud. Its data privacy is an open question, and 37 percent worry about integration.