"No news is good news" may be a cliché, but it is certainly not a truism. In the press at least, only bad news tends to be valued as good news, and that's why we usually only hear about IT projects that have gone wrong.
In the public sector, some IT disasters have been so big that they would have sent many a private company to the wall. Witness Fujitsu's disastrous £800m Pathway project, which was supposed to automate post offices and provide a swipe-card system to pay welfare benefits, but instead collapsed into a consultant's pile in the country.
The private sector has seen equally disastrous IT projects of course. During the dot-com boom there were more than you could shake a stock option at, with many -- such as Boo.com's £100m boob of an e-commerce site, lubricated by too many champagne flutes on too many unnecessary Concorde flights. Back down on earth, even such staid establishments as Sainsbury's managed to make a hash of their first stab at e-commerce.
But for every Sainsbury's making a meal of its foray into e-commerce by ploughing millions into building dedicated distribution centres, there is a Tesco smart enough to realise that it already had a network of quite tasty distribution centres perfect for the job -- called supermarkets.
For every Boo.com that left dot-com investors with little but a good book to read that just twisted the knife that little bit extra by explaining just how all that cash was blown, there is a dabs.com doing very nicely out of e-commerce, thank you very much. And for every public sector disaster, at least one IT project, somewhere in the public sector, is going to plan.
We want to find those projects, and reward those who have deployed technology to fix a business problem that has delivered a return on investment within the past 12 months: you don't have to be a dot-com, and the project need not have anything to do with e-commerce.
On 8 October at the Bloomberg Studios in London's Finsbury Square, CNET Networks UK (owner of ZDNet and our sister site silicon.com) will present our first ever technology awards. The awards evening will cap the first day of the UK Tech Summit, which is held in conjunction with BusinessWeek.
You could be there. We want you to tell us about your successful IT project. We want to dispel the myth that IT investment is an “open cheque book” with little return. Among other things, entries will be evaluated on business contribution and return on investment, with a particular focus on innovation. Has the project changed business practices; created new, more efficient processes or ways of working; or introduced new, leading-edge technologies whilst achieving of overall business objectives? The technology must have been deployed after January 2002 and have involved implementation in the UK.
If you think you have a shining example of how IT projects should be implemented, then email Joanna Bass at firstname.lastname@example.org for an entry form now.