The worst IT disasters of 2009

There were a lot of high points in tech this year, but some pretty big screw ups, too. Here are our top 10 IT failures of the year.

The year has been a mixed one for the IT industry. Falling sales, especially of PCs and servers, have hit vendors hard as businesses have scaled back spending.

Even so, consumers have continued to buy technology, with smartphone and netbook sales holding up well.

Interest also continued to grow in services, especially social networking and anything delivered over the cloud.

But as our round up of the year's top technology disasters shows, privacy, service reliability and perhaps predictably, government IT spending continue to put potholes on the superhighway.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

Windows Vista

Windows Vista has struggled from its initial release, but 2009 was the end of the line for all practical purposes, as Microsoft released Windows 7.

Windows 7 launched to critical acclaim - or at least was more warmly received than its predecessor. Windows XP seems set to live on, on low-costs netbooks, for a while yet.

But the ranks of discounted Vista PCs in high street stores suggests that for all practical purposes, unloved Vista will quietly be left to die.

Google Mail and Google Apps

Gmail is a great technology, when it works. But businesses that had switched from local email systems to the search giant's cloud-based offerings will have had reason to question that choice. This year, Google Apps and Gmail have suffered several outages, leaving customers unable to send or receive messages, or use Google's collaboration tools, for several hours at a time.

Of course, no IT service, and certainly no cloud-based service, can ever be 100 per cent reliable. But organisations planning to replace in-house infrastructure with cloud services will need to consider the impact of what Jon Collins, of analysts Freeform Dynamics, calls "Gfail": have a backup plan.

London Stock Exchange

To lose a key operational IT system once is unfortunate. When it happens twice, it looks careless.

This, though, is what happened to the London Stock Exchange, which suffered two systems outages in November. The first failure affected a 12th of the exchanges's financial instruments, and was traced to a single server. The second failure, in late November, halted all trading. In 2010, the LSE will switch to a new trading platform.

Featured Resources

The essential guide to cloud-based backup and disaster recovery

Support business continuity by building a holistic emergency plan

Download now

Trends in modern data protection

A comprehensive view of the data protection landscape

Download now

How do vulnerabilities get into software?

90% of security incidents result from exploits against defects in software

Download now

Delivering the future of work - now

The CIO’s guide to building the unified digital workspace for today’s hybrid and multi-cloud strategies.

Download now
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/cloud/microsoft-azure/354230/microsoft-not-amazon-is-going-to-win-the-cloud-wars
Microsoft Azure

Microsoft, not Amazon, is going to win the cloud wars

30 Nov 2019
Visit/cloud/amazon-web-services-aws/354223/what-to-expect-from-aws-reinvent-2019
Amazon Web Services (AWS)

What to expect from AWS Re:Invent 2019

29 Nov 2019
Visit/hardware/354232/raspberry-pi-4-owners-complain-of-broken-wi-fi-when-using-hdmi
Hardware

Raspberry Pi 4 owners complain of broken Wi-Fi when using HDMI

29 Nov 2019
Visit/mobile/google-android/354189/samsung-galaxy-a90-5g-review-simply-the-best-value-5g-phone
Google Android

Samsung Galaxy A90 5G review: Simply the best value 5G phone

22 Nov 2019