Britain has a consistently appalling record when it comes to managing major IT projects. According to the Department of Work and Pensions, seven out of 10 government IT projects fail and since 2000, the UK has wasted more than £2 billion on failed projects.
With such a shameful track record, it is good to know that when it comes to thorough incompetence, our European brothers are not far behind. This weekend saw the launch – and crash – of Europe’s first digital museum and library.
Europeana, which houses thousands of digital records of items representing Europe’s cultural history, reported up to 13 million hits per hour – three times the maximum level expected by the European Commission. Within hours of the site going online, it had between 3,000 and 4,000 users accessing information at the same time.
The Commission said: “This massive interest slowed down the service so much that after having already doubled server capacity, the Europeana management and the Commission had to temporarily take down the site.”
The site will be re-launched in mid-December after its server’s capacity has been increased. Let’s hope everyone’s lost interest by then so Europeana can descend into quiet obscurity like most EU initiatives.