The city's ambitious plan to spend $120 million to overhaul its tech systems was one of the first big stories I covered when I started on the Philly tech beat at Technical.ly Philly.
"This is a historic moment in Philadelphia's history, where we're going to spend $120 million to modernize the city," then-CIO Adel Ebeid told me in the summer of 2012. "We're not going to have this chance again," he added.
I reported the story without much skepticism. I was young and naive. (Don't hate.)
We've since learned that many of the projects under that initiative have gone over budget and are years past their proposed completion date. I'm not surprised.
Five years of tech reporting later, I now know that a project as sweeping as that one was doomed to fall short. That's what happens to huge IT projects, and it's not unique to government — these problems plague the private sector, too. We just don't hear about them as often.
Here's how city government can do better: