Delta Airlines Believes their Epic Technology Failure is like Painting a Bridge

On August 8, Delta had to cancel 2,000 flights due to a major technology malfunction. It could have been prevented.

Delta reports that the glitch was triggered by a 22 year old power control system device that failed in their datacenter.

Back in June, Delta’s CIO Rahul Samant made a very telling statement, “Technology is like painting a bridge. Work is never done.”

That was two months before this disaster. I wonder if his statement about how “work is never done” is an excuse for not trying. It would be best if he remains focused on doing the best he possibly can.

I do not know the CIO, and give him the benefit of the doubt of doing the best possible job he can do.

As I type this blog at 35,000 feet, it is important to trust in the airlines to be very focused on safety. If only IT was afforded the same attention.

In 2008, after the bridge collapses received major media attention, the government provided resources to maintain bridges.

The government needn’t step in to force companies to keep their IT bridges painted and in great shape. But CEOs should step in when necessary.

Many IT departments are plagued by a lack of resources. But it doesn’t help to throw money at IT either. The problems can often be solved by using tools you’ve already paid for, and systems can be configured in ways to save IT Pros time.

Many organizations rely on service providers. Target learned the hard way that some service providers’ carelessness might cause big problems at the organizations that trust them.

Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity plans are crucial. But keep preventative maintenance in mind too. Just ask Delta.

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