A “computer glitch” was blamed for the 4th of July San Diego fireworks fiasco, and now another computer glitch is wreaking even more havoc – with far larger repercussions than some disappointed revelers. It’s being reported that security details for the London 2012 Olympics (starting this month) are woefully understaffed, yes, because of a computer glitch.
Two weeks before the opening ceremonies it became clear that the company contracted to provide security for the entire Olympic games was going to come up short staffed. Here’s the report from The Register (which focuses on the software glitch side of the initial news reports):
A computer software failure caused the security fiasco at the Olympics, the Independent on Sunday has said, after talking to insider sources at security contractor G4S. …
The Indy has suggested that staff management software was to blame.
An insider said the root cause of the problem with G4S was its internal computer system which had failed to calculate staff rostering.
In a statement on the contract, G4S said:
We have recently encountered significant difficulties in processing applicants in sufficient numbers through the necessary training, vetting and accreditation procedures. As a result, we will be unable to deliver all of the necessary workforce numbers.
Read the full article at The Register >>>
As a result of the last minute issue 3,500 members of the British Armed Forces will be brought in to make up the security deficit. A read through of the Independent on Sunday’s original report puts the financial burden of supplying troops on G4S (the security contractor) and the issue could end up costing the company upwards of £50m – plus a good deal in reputation I imagine.
The moral of the story: Don’t blindly rely on software to work correctly, make sure it’s gone through vigorous testing before you end up on the wrong side of a widely-publicized and costly “software glitch.”