Mark Harrop Business Development Manager

May 28

Tapeless BBC problem sounds hopelessly familiar

The BBC has suspended its chief technology officer and admitted wasting nearly £100m of tax-payers money on a five-year project intended to make the corporation "tapeless", saying that to continue with the project would be "throwing good money after bad". (Various national media including The Guardian). The Digital Media Initiative (DMI) was supposed to create a production system linked to the BBC's huge broadcasting archive, but flaws in the system peaked in April when instead of streamlining access to old video footage it brought news departments trying to locate archived Margaret Thatcher footage, to an effective standstill.

It is not only that our money could have been spent better on nurses, doctors and therapists, fire and ambulance staff, teachers and the like. It is that those procuring public sector technology never seem to learn. You can have your cake and eat it, if you shop around a little better and have a well defined technology brief. There is even now a transactional revenue model for such technology contracts, meaning that you don’t have to pay the bulk of the contractor’s fee until the technology is correctly deployed and people are successfully using it. It really is as easy as ABC; so would someone please tell the BBC?

Mark Colonnese, Director