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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What the Zune cost Microsoft can't be measured in money. Who knows how many developer-hours were spent on the product -- which actually, when it came out, got pretty good reviews. If the iPod didn't already exist, the Zune might have become the leading MP3 player. But the iPod did already exist, and some of Microsoft's decisions as far as marketing (like making it brown) and features (like limits on how many times you could play a shared song) combined to make it too complicated and too late. What the company lost, probably forever, was a chance to make a splash in the portable music market.
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.