Success in information technology projects1
(1) IT is a major prerequisite for efficient administration work. Today, desktop PCs with
office software, electronic communications, electronic filing and archiving, IT systems
for accounting, materials management and HR management are being used by
government authorities both at the federal and regional levels.
(2) IT projects are subject to the influence of a large number of critical factors. Not
paying enough attention to these factors frequently leads to major delays, budgets being
exceeded, or even projects being aborted.
A study conducted by an international IT consultant on roughly 200 000 IT projects
showed that, in 2002, only 34% of all these IT projects worldwide managed to stay
within time and budget as planned. 15% of the projects failed, while the remaining 51%
could be completed only by increasing the time and budget frameworks or restricting the
planned scope of functions.
(3) In 2003, federal IT expenditure - including outsourcing to external IT service
providers - amounted to about € 339 million, with a further € 110 million spent at the
regional government level. Legal entities whose financial operations also have to be
audited by the Austrian Court of Audit, such as local authorities in communities with
more than 20 000 inhabitants, social insurance institutions, health care institutions,
professional associations (chambers), parts of successor companies of the former stateowned
postal and telegraph services, other former government-run entities, as well as the
Austrian Railways, accounted for additional IT spending.
1 Bruno Walter, Austrian Court of Audit
The Court of Audit estimates public-sector IT expenditure in 2003 to have amounted to
more than € 1 billion.
(4) In the course of financial audits, the Court of Audit identified two key problem areas
in the context of IT projects.
• IT projects that significantly exceeded the approved time and budget... [continues]
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