Can Tech Protect Food from Terror Attacks?

American consumers may always have harbored a low-level worry that the produce they buy will be less than fresh, or the raw meat tainted with some naturally occurring bacteria. But now, in a world that suggests threats from terrorists almost anywhere, the food industry appears particularly vulnerable. Yet, only now

Upgrading from SAP R/3 to mySAP

This timeline and chart show the tasks and labor costs involved in upgrading a core enterprise application systemfrom a client/server architecture to a Web-based one. The example is based on a large manufacturing company that, like Osram Sylvania,is upgrading from SAP R/3 to mySAP. The project involves offering the new

How Allfirst Trader Fudged Data

Allied Irish Bank on Thursday spelled out its accusations against former Allfirst Financial currency trader John Rusnak in the wake of a scandal that lost the AIB subsidiary $691 million. AIB’s report of an internal investigation accuses Rusnak of “manipulating the weak control environment in Allfirst’s treasury; notably, he found

Inside WorldCom’s Billing Blunders

Four years after telecommunications giant WorldCom acquired long-distance sibling MCI for $34.7 billion, the company continues to face significant hurdles in providing large customers with a single, accurate bill for its services. While billing is a challenge for all top-tier telecommunications companies—a situation aggravated by mass mergers and the growing

Auditor or Consultant? Time to Choose

The Enron implosion seems to have proven that it’s not smart to use the same company as your auditor that you use for consulting work. But what if you’re already in that position—if your auditor is already your information technology consultant? Do you just boot it out? Some companies—such as

Allfirst Financial: Out of Control

Baltimore’s Mount Washington neighborhood is not a likely locale for an international banking scandal. But the narrow streets of this hilly upper-middle class enclave were jammed in the first week of February with TV remote trucks and British tabloid journalists standing vigil around one $232,020 home. The hope: John Rusnak,

How Allfirst Gambled on Monte Carlo

It’s a truism—or at least it should be—that the most expensive software you can buy is the wrong software. Never has that been more painfully obvious than in the case of Allfirst Financial, the U.S. subsidiary of Allied Irish Banks, where one trader managed to lose $690 million, and conceal

Enron: Security Woes, Too?

Protecting a company from external computer hackers is not a job for the faint of heart. Even when the attacks are routine, it’s tough, and it can be risky. Add a bunch of angry ex-employees and a slew of investigators who all want to get at your internal data and

Why Andersen Cracked in IT Suit

Arthur Andersen is not just struggling with fallout of its auditing work at Enron, Global Crossing and Qwest Communications. Its information technology consulting also led to an agreement to pay Department 56—an Eden Prairie, Minn., merchandiser of Snowbabies and other collectibles—$11 million. This is the story behind the settlement, which

Containing the Pain of Scope Creep

Cost overruns. Delays. Infighting. Most problems in the development lifecycle can be traced back to scope creep—including project failure. Scope creep is a natural part of every project, says Douglas Brindley, senior vice president of consulting firm Software Productivity Research (SPR). According to SPR, requirements in an internal development project