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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Knight-Ridder had a vision of a home computer that would deliver banking capabilities, news and advertising to its customers. The vision was fine; the timing wasn't. The $900 initial cost (later dropped to $600) was too much for 1983 and for customers who weren't sure what they were supposed to be getting. The project was dropped in 1986, costing the media giant a cool $50 million.
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.