Incident Report on a System Failure essay

Computers are widely used in our time today. Computers are known to have the ability to lessen anyone’s job and help get through it faster. Indeed, it is undeniable that computers help not only an individual’s job but also the different fields that need improvement when it comes to efficiency. For instance, science, education, and health depend on the brilliant ways computers can do. Even the government relies on a computer system.

The government uses computers in all of its departments and offices to help employees provide better services to the people. However, no matter how efficient computers are, they can also breakdown like every other machine. When computers fail, the effect could be disastrous. Last November 2004, U. K. faced the biggest computer crash in their government history that lasted for five days. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) in London experienced a huge computer failure that stopped 80,000 staff from processing new loans.

It all started when DWP’s system crashed which automatically shut down 100,000 computer machines while undergoing a routine software upgrade (IDG News Service, 2004). Microsoft Corporation, Electronic Data Systems (EDS) and other I. T. experts spent grueling hours to work the glitch out and find a cure for the said system failure while employees were constrained to communicate through fax since the communication network broke down (BBC News, 2004). This simple system shut down had caused a lot of problems not only to DWP but also to the citizens.

There would have been thousands of new applications and claims for pensions and the five-day system glitch wasted a lot of time to entertain queries and get pensions and benefit claims processed. This massive incident proved that every organization depends on the power of technology so much that every single datum is connected to the network. Once the network breaks down, it is likely that all information would be lost. The DWP incident also clearly showed that it is rare to find a job that does not depend on computers.

Computers, indeed, have become a part of people’s lives. The incident also proved that a lot of time, effort, and money are at stake when a system failure occurs because of humankind’s dependence on this technology. No matter how fast individuals and organizations cope with technology and no matter how technology seems to make everything better, there will always be a big chance that machines and computers will disappoint them with a system failure.Thus, they always have to make preparations and backup plans in order to prevent disasters such as DWP’s system failure.


IDG News Service (2004, November 29). U. K. government hit with computer failure. Infoworld. Retrieved April 1, 2007 from http://www. infoworld. com/article/04/11/29/HNukcrash_1. html BBC News (2004, November 26). Benefits IT Chaos ‘Exaggerated’. Retrieved April 1, 2007 from http://news. bbc. co. uk/1/hi/uk/4044085. stm